Cards: UT Upper Deck 2011, UT Upper Deck 2011 MM
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o mackbrown.com
Sent: 4/13 Received: 4/18 (5 days)
Major Applewhite was the quarterback at the University of Texas who took over the mantle of starting quarterback in his Freshman season under Coach John Mackovic. He’d play through some tenuous times at the University of Texas, and be there for the hiring of Mack Brown. The problem was, bigger fish had been eyeing the University of Texas pond, and while it was already big enough for Ricky Williams and Major Applewhite to run the offense, things changed when NFL pedigree quarterback Chris Simms came to Austin. While Simms struggled early on after having the offense handed to him, the undersized but big-hearted Applewhite, continued to stage heroics and stake a claim for the starting job at UT time after time. In his final contest after defeating Simms again for the starting nod at UT, he led the Longhorns to a come from behind victory over the Washington Huskies 47-43 at the Holiday Bowl. In the contest, Major shouldered the offense and threw for a school record 473 yards. I remember working that evening of the game and the person behind me hated the Longhorns, and was from Washington. As a big Applewhite fan, I hadn’t been watching the Longhorns as much as I wanted to because of the quarterback controversy. He gloated throughout the whole game until Applewhite pulled off the last minute heroics.
At the time of his graduation in 2001, Major was the school’s all-time leader in passing yards (8,353), completions (611), and TD passes (60). The Patriots took a flyer on Applewhite, but facing an uphill battle in camp, Major opted to retire instead. Applewhite is considered an extremely bright and innovative mind in the college coaching ranks now. First as a Graduate Assistant at UT, then some bumpy years at Syracuse panned out into revamping and modernizing the Rice Football team. He also spent time with Nick Saban at Alabama, before returning to the Longhorns in 2008 as their runningbacks coach. He has since added ‘Co-Offensive Coordinator’ to his job duties in 2011, and remains a steadfast Longhorn Legend.
I really wanted Major and Mack – at least – from the scrimmage, but all I ended up being is a lambasted lobster by the end of it. Unusually high temperatures at the stadium turned the place into a pressure cooker and by the third quarter I had to leave. I was also equally disappointed as the media billed the ‘Fan Day’ as one in which the players, alumni, and coaches were going to be giving autographs. I saw none of that going on but was still happy to see Ricky Williams get his statue unveiled. Well I decided to see if I could contact the college to see if get their autographs on these cards, and to my surprise I found Mack Brown’s UT football site. I contacted them through the site and explained what had happened, and was responded to very promptly by a member of their support team, who offered me any coaches or players I’d like as long as they were personalized. I pretty much jumped to get Mack and Major, and both arrived back to me in the same envelope at break neck speed.