Category Archives: College Football HoF

Hennings, Chad

Cards: GameDay 1992, Upper Deck 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 9/25   Received: 10/1       (6 days)

The Outland Trophy Winner in 1987, Chad Hennings was an excellent defensive lineman who had to defer playing in the NFL to serve his time in the military and fought in the Gulf War.  Thanks in part to his service, his stock dipped severely in the 1988 NFL Draft. He’d be selected in the 11th round by the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn’t until 1992 that Chad would become available to the Cowboys to play, thanks in part to military staff reductions.

He’d play with a burgeoning Cowboys defense initially seeing time on special teams. Rotating into the lineup Chad saw a career high 7 sacks in 1994. He started his first game in 1995, and played with the Cowboys through 2000 when injuries began to catch up with him. 

All in all Chad was a pretty sneaky draft pick by the Cowboys. They signed him to a contract and paid him a minimal amount to keep his rights until they could pry him from his commitments and it really paid off. They got 6 solid years out of him and 72 starts. 

I know why Chad looks a bit exasperated in this 1992 Upper Deck card here. It’s because it was probably taken at Cowboys Training Camp at St. Edwards. As a frequent denizen early on in those years- if the heat didn’t get you, the humidity was surely close behind. I do not like the card one bit. His hands are completely off the canvas and there’s no action to this shot whatsoever. I didn’t mind the stone look to the production, but it felt like it cheapened the look and value of their initial foray with their 1991 effort as they look so similar.

His GameDay 1992 card is solid outside of his foot looking mangled since they didn’t want to include the grass or fake it. It’s an exciting action shot of him taking off and overall it is framed quite well. I had wanted to get Chad on these cards way back at training camp over the years, but by the time I got these cards, things were already going big and neon at Cowboys Training Camp at St. Edwards. It was a madhouse to get autographs, and autograph alley had become somewhat of a chest pressing spectacle for both observers and players alike. – So understandably the best route was TTM some 20 years later.

Chad actually haunts me. He was in a Sports Illustrated article where he talked about the dream of coming back to football… How he could smell the grass, his coaches still barking at him to get in the game, making a play. I still have those dreams, and wish I could go back and change things.

G/GSTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTD LG
119/7221626.5500-.-0-.-

Rogers, George

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Panini Contenders 2018
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o The George Rogers Foundation*
Sent: 10/20    Received: 11/9       (20 days)
* Donation Enclosed 

George Rogers played runningback for the South Carolina Gamecocks from 1977 to 1980. He really helped put South Carolina’s football team on the map by winning the Heisman Trophy in 1980, when George rushed 297 times for 1781 yards and 14 TDs. He finished his college career pretty much owning all the Gamecock career rushing marks with 927 carries for 5091 yards and 31 TDs, along with 43 receptions for 389 yards and 2 TDs. 

The moribund New Orleans Saints finally caught a break, and with George selected #1 overall by the team, he’d help transform the team from a perennial cellar dweller and give New Orleans an identity. George came out of the gates running. He’d be named rookie of the year in 1981 after he led the league in carries (378), yards (1674) and average yards per game (104.6). He’d also haul in a career high 16 receptions for 126 yards and score 13 total touchdowns. George played for the Saints over the next 3 seasons before being traded in a blockbuster trade to Washington in exchange for their first round pick. 

The second stanza of Rogers’ career began in Washington, as George replaced an aging John Riggins in the backfield for head coach Joe Gibbs. George posted 2 more 1000+ yard seasons in 1985 and 1986, leading the NFL in TDs with 18 in the latter. He’d win a Super Bowl Title in 1987, but shortly after the season announce his retirement at the age of 29- due in part to nagging injuries.

You see, Rogers was a big back and he absorbed a lot of hits over his career.  Concussions and lingering knee injuries did their part to cut it short. Looking back at how aggressively the Redskins loved to run the ball, one wonders where George would’ve stood in the NFL record books if he hadn’t retired so soon. Hypothetically, if we just go with George’s Redskins average of 71 yards per game and multiply that out over the course of a 16 game schedule- that’s 1136 yards. 3 more years like that and he’d have been a member of the 10k club and a probable member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Regardless Rogers has enjoyed receiving accolades since retirement, being named to the College Football Hall of Fame, having his number retired by his Alma Mater, and various other tributes from South Carolina and the Saints.

I had been thinking about getting him on a few cards since he sort of flies under the radar now and these two really fit the bill nicely. I think the way George played in his career, he is well regarded as a member of both the Saints and the Redskins and this Upper Deck 1997 really does it up right. Although he got some fingerprint stains on my Contenders card, I really like the photo and framing of this set. Panini Contenders seems to do it right for me design wise, since most sets since 2010 really do not intrigue me as much as they used to.

G/GSRUSHYDSAVGTDLG
92/78169271764.25479t
RECYDSAVGTDLG
553686.7025

Hornung, Paul ‘Golden Boy’


Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018 C/o Home
Sent:  3/12  Received:  3/23   (11 days)
* Donation Enclosed


While at Notre Dame from 1954 to 1956, Paul Hornung played quarterback for the Fightin’ Irish.  Over 3 years he threw for 1696 yards on 110 of 233 passes, with 12 TDs to 23 interceptions. A gifted runner, Hornung had 209 carries for 1051 yards and 6 TDs. Now during those years, passing was still in the stone age, so those totals were actually pretty substantial. Despite playing for a losing team in ’56, Hornung rushed for 420 yards and 6 TDs, while passing for 917 yards and 3 TDs, earning him the 1956 Heisman Trophy Award.

Paul was the first overall pick of the Green Bay Packers during the 1957 Amateur Football Draft.  The Packers liked Hornung’s rushing style so they converted him to a ‘back. Now the reason I use the eponymous term ‘back’ is because Paul saw time at fullback, halfback, – something called ‘L-back’ and heck, he even did some kicking duties over the next 10 seasons. Arguably his best year came in 1960, a year in which he led the league with 13 rushing TDs, 15 total touchdowns, 41 extra points, and 15 field goals. While he did not play in Super Bowl I, Paul culminated his career by earning the first Super Bowl ring.  His number was unofficially retired in 1967 by the Packers.

The Golden Boy culminated his career by being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.  He is the only player to win the Heisman, be selected overall number 1 in the NFL draft, and win a Super Bowl, in the history of the sport.

All around high marks for this solid looking card. Upper Deck really hit the nail on the head in 1997 with this set. It did it all and it became an instant classic. This overall impressive photo of Hornung is only complimented by his autograph- something that I got lucky on getting in such pristine condition. Not only does Hornung’s autograph tend to get rushed and sloppy looking from what I’ve seen, he sent this one back in my unsealed SASE. Still for a mere $10 getting a Hall of Famer, a number one overall pick, AND a Heisman winner on a card is a bargain.

G/Gs 104/90   Rush 893   Yds 3711    Avg 4.2    TD 50   LG 72
Rec 130    Yds 1480    Avg 11.4    TD 12   LG 83
Att 55    Cpd 24    Yds 383   Pct 43.6    Td 5    Int 4    Rat 67.5
XPA 194    XPM 190    FGA  140   FGM 66    PCT 47.1    LG 52