Wilkerson, Eric (2)

Cards: ProSet WLAF 1991 TD leader, ProSet WLAF 1991 Rushing leader, ProSet 1991 WLAF, Ultimate WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1992 LL, Wild Card WLAF 1992.
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o Kent State Alumni Association*
Sent:  6/16    Received: 7/28  (34 days)
See Also: Eric Wilkerson
* Donation requested

The paid side of SportsCollectors.net has been really good to me, and I’ve been able to unearth some very nice gems recently out of there recently. Case in point: Eric Wilkerson. I had been looking for Eric for quite a while. After hearing he had been shot, I hadn’t been able to find anymore information on him, but combing the archives of SC I found a success for the elusive runningback by writing to him care of Kent State’s Alumni Association. Since I had reached a desperate level on him, and he is one of those players with a bunch of cards, I decided to give it a shot and throw in a donation, since I felt so guilty about sending so many cards. While reconciling my bank account statements, I noticed that he cashed the check out a few days earlier, and then crossed my fingers on the return.  I would not be disappointed as he signed all 6 cards, which represents the single highest haul from a player since probably – Stan Gelbaugh? With Eric’s autographs on his 3 ProSet WLAF 1991 cards, it officially puts me over the halfway mark on the set (76/150).  Among the cards is the really slick touchdown league leader card, that he split with Orlando Thunder receiver Byron Williams. Nearly all of these cards are just really great heroic images of Eric in action, with probably his regular base card from the Ultimate 1992 WLAF set being my favorite. He signed each one, and wrote 91/92 on either one indicating the year.

During his time at Kent State, Eric ran his way into the record books rushing for 3,380 yards from scrimmage, and crushing the Mid-American Conference’s combined yardage record with 5,974 all purpose yards. During his senior season he set a single season school record with 1,325 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Due to his diminutive size, and the small school he went to, Wilkerson went undrafted but signed with the Steelers in 1989, and the Lions in 1990.

The WLAF gave him a shot in 1991. He’d be the 8th runningback taken in the draft, by the New York New Jersey Knights, and lead the league in rushing in 1991 with 717 yards and 11 TDs.  While his 1992 season was not as successful, it was more about the Knights offense diversifying as much as anything else. Eric is unofficially the WLAF’s career leading rusher- since the league reorganized after the season and was not seen again until three years later in 1995.