Jamaal Charles represents one of the biggest in person coups in a while for me. I had been looking for him for a couple of years- hearing about and missing out on a few events he was at. I guess it all started in 2013, when I did the Spoodog Box Break with Mike-E and Spoodog. Spoo had 2 or 3 certified Jamaal’s and pulled another in the case, but I had no luck whatsoever.
After finding out that GiGi’s Cupcakes had a soft opening the previous day, I decided to go up to see if I could get Brian Orapko and Michael Griffin’s autograph. I knew that Charles had been there the previous day, and I was pretty disappointed to miss out on him, but I packed his cards anyway. When I arrived after driving across town and through an on and off ice storm, I saw this beautiful powder blue Lambo sitting in the parking lot. I walked in and exclaimed, “Who’s sexy car is that outside?”, and Brian responded to me, “Oh that is Jamaal’s. He’s here too.” The game was finally over. I had found him. After getting Brian and Griff, I went outside, grabbed 3 cards and pushed my luck. Rak was very impressed that I came prepared and Jamaal was kind enough to sign all 3.
Jamaal Charles comes from a very long line of excellent runningbacks out of the University of Texas. A standout in track, Charles joined UT in 2005 winning the National Championship in his Freshman year. He averaged a whopping 7.4 yards per carry on 119 carries and scored 11 TDs. He’d have his best numbers in 2007, rushing for 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns on 258 carries. After the campaign concluded he declared for the 2008 NFL Draft. He finished 4th in career total rushing yards (3,328) with UT trailing only Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell, and Cedric Benson.
Surprisingly Jamaal did not get selected until the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL draft. He’d be chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs- a rush heavy team led by Larry Johnson. During his rookie season he saw the field seldomly but made the best of it rushing for 357 yards on 67 carries. Jamaal’s first TD was a 36 yard pass reception from Tyler Thigpen against the Bills in Week 12. In 2009, Jamaal had a breakthrough and became starter for the Chiefs. He’d rush for the first of 5 1,000 yard seasons that he’d post over the next 6 seasons. Jamaal’s biggest attraction as a runningback is his yards per carry. He led the league with a 5.9 yard per carry in 2009, and then in 2010 had a career high 6.4 yards per carry (1467 yards). After an injury plagued 2011, Jamaal returned to form rushing for a career high 1,509 yards, 70 receptions (693 yards), 7 receiving TDs, and a 91 yard scamper in 2012. 2013 saw him rush for a career high 12 TDs and 1,287 yards and likewise in 2014 another 1,033 yards and 9 TDs (206 carries).
Unfortunately both Jamaal’s 2015 and 2016 season were marred by back to back season ending injuries, so the Chiefs decided to let Jamaal test the free agent waters for 2017. It ruffled some feathers when Charles- the career yardage leader for the Chiefs- signed with the division rival Denver Broncos. (I even picked up Jamaal late in one of my fantasy drafts and stashed him on my bench.) During his lone season at Mile High Jamaal hard charged to 296 yards on 69 carries. Unhappy with the runningback situation there, he asked to be released and is currently a free agent.