Lonnie Turner took a very unique route to the WLAF after playing for Cal Poly Pomona under Roman Gabriel: He played in the USFL from 1983 to 1985. During that period he played one season each for LA (3 catches for 41 yards), Oklahoma (27 receptions for 399 yards and 2 TDs), and Denver (29 receptions for 388 yards). After brief stops with the Cardinals and later the Atlanta Falcons, he’d join the Arena football league, and play for Pittsburgh in 1988. Boasting experience in the Run N Shoot offense, Lonnie signed with the Lions in 1990, but was unable to make the squad. This however got him back onto the radar of the WLAF, and the New York- New Jersey Knights who were coached by former Lions offensive coordinator Mouse Davis.
Lonnie was selected in the WLAF supplemental draft by the Knights. A long in the tooth veteran at 30 years old, Lonnie was one of the oldest players on the team. He paid dividends in 1991, leading NY-NJ with 41 receptions (5th in league) for 629 yards (7th) and caught his only touchdown of the season versus the Montreal Machine. In 1992, Lonnie caught 36 passes for 437 yards and 2 TDs- including a 50 yarder.
With the WLAF reorganizing after the 1992 season, Turner packed his bags for a quick stop with the British Columbia Lions of the CFL in 1993. He posted 27 receptions for 420 yards and 2 TDs, 11 kick returns for 196 yards, and 38 punts for 270 yards. – As a pro, this represented his most productive season- but this was his first and last foray into the CFL.
A few years passed, and Lonnie appears again in the Arena Football League. This time he picks up in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Storm, and along with that 43 receptions for 576 yards and 9 TDs. He’d join the Nashville Kats in 1997 and play there through 1998. With the Kats in 1997 he’d have another solid season (35 receptions, 485 yards, 9 TDs, 28 kick returns, 460 yards, and 1 TD), and then close out his career playing football with one final season in Nashville with 20 receptions for 193 yards and 3 TDs, and 16 kick returns for 251 yards.
I have been tracking Lonnie for some time. With his unique and interesting playing history, I figured that he’d at least be on Wikipedia, but his trail is mysteriously cold. Even USFL fans couldn’t tell me where he was at. It didn’t help that there are actually other Lonnie Turners out there in the world who played and coached football, but after a lot of perseverance, I was able to find him coaching in Los Angeles. He’s apparently spent a lot of time at the high school level and has now climbed into the college ranks.
After Reggie was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, he’d be briefly on the training camp and practice squads of the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Rams through mid-2017. He’d join the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL and start 3 games, notching 22 tackles before heading down to join the AAF.
Reggie played and started in all 8 games for the Orlando Apollos. He finished with 62 total tackles and a sack on the season for Orlando in 2019- placing him 7th in the league.
A well designed 1/1 card here, I was really impressed by the look of the certified autographs from the Topps 2019 AAF set. Too bad the AAF didn’t last beyond 8 games thanks to terrible investors who pulled out the rug from under the league. Reggie felt the same as well and as of this post is one of the chief plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit drawn by the players of the league against the Alliance.
Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Upper Deck 1992 Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work Sent: 8/28 Received: 9/12 (16 days) Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Virginia See Also: Shawn Moore
Shawn Moore eluded me a few years ago and it was really a pants down situation. I mean, I sent him a nice group of cards but never heard back. Luckily, I always have made it a habit to reload on WLAF cards I only had singles on; However, I didn’t have an extra copy of Shawn’s Star Pics 1991 that I really wanted to get signed so I ended up sending this terrible Upper Deck 1992 card of his with it. Still I should be happy to finally knock of this retry reply from my list.
My friend Deadhorse got a trial subscription to Star Tiger, which is a competitor to sportscollectors. He loaned me the login since I was curious so that I could take a look. I found the hierarchy to be terrible, and most of the sports addresses were consistent with what I had already found, but I did find Shawn’s most recent address on there and decided to give it a shot. A few weeks later, a water soaked return envelope arrived at the house with Shawn’s autographs inside. (Thankfully the cards were not damaged.)
Shawn moved on from coaching at his alma mater after 2012. He’s had a few football related positions since then including working as the Director of Community Relations for the College Football Playoff system. Currently he works in administration system of a private school in Virginia.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.