A well decorated lineman at the time of his graduation from the University of Texas in 1996, Dan Neil was an All-American in his final season for the Longhorns. Over his time with the burnt orange, Dan started 49 straight contests at either guard or center. He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Broncos, and be a surprising contributor to Denver’s Super Bowl runs, blocking up front for John Elway. A durable and reliable presence he’d start 104 games playing primarily at right guard. As of 2017, he lives in the Austin area and does radio work. He was inducted as a Longhorn Legend into the Football Hall of Honor in 2008.
Cards: Sage 2011, Upper Deck 2011, Score 2011, Playoff Contenders 2011, Playoff Threads 2011, Panini UT 2015, PressPass 2011,
Acquired: IP, Aaron Williams Lone Star Showcase 2015, UT Coop Celebration 2016.
See Also: Aaron Williams, Aaron Williams (2)
Making a habit of grabbing a few Aaron Williams autographs
when I see he’s around. While there seems to be an almost endless supply of cards, I’m still finding quite a few nice ones here and there especially this surprising Sage 2012 entry. The
Playoff Contenders was a late find and a really nice card. I appreciate the reflective areas on the card. Even though Upper Deck seems to be taking a beating recently, I do appreciate the 1991
throwback entry they did of Williams. The Press Pass card left much to be desired however. When I showed Aaron his Panini 2015 UT card at the Coop, he stopped to show Fozzy Whittaker how it looked. I knew he wanted one but unfortunately I did not have an extra. Shawn luckily had one to give him.
I really liked the Lone Star Showcase. Williams crew ran a tight ship and the kids really appreciated the camp, event, and how it was run. Aaron started the LSC because he felt that if he just had the guidance and help earlier, he could’ve been a better player and teammate. In a sense this is his way of giving back. After the event, the best kids were given trophies. It was a really hot event, but it was worth it. Outside of the autographs, the highlight of the event was the DB WR drills and watching these kids go up one on one on each other. I really wish something like this had existed when I was a kid as there was no shortage of NFL talent on the field willing to help, teach, and encourage these youngsters. Aaron continues to be highly active in Central Texas hosting events, and making charitable radio appearances.
Aaron really blossomed into the heart and soul of the Buffalo defense. His knowledge and understanding of Rex Ryan’s defense was unparalleled. The strong safety was leaned heavily upon in the system, and as neck and concussion issues have impacted his playing time- it has had an adverse effect on the Bills defense as well. He’s been limited to 10 games over the last two seasons, posting 22 tackles, an interception, 8 passes defensed, and a fumble recovery for a TD. In March of 2017, Aaron Williams was released by the Buffalo Bills. He’s weighing his options as he hopes to continue his career elsewhere.
Cards: UT Upper Deck Icons 2011, UT Upper Deck All Time Alumni 2011, UT Upper Deck 2011
Acquired: Spoodog Box Break 2015, IP 2015, MVP Bottle Signing Spec’s Liquor
Considered one of the University of Texas’ best receivers in school history, BJ Johnson played alongside the much hyped Roy Williams and Sloan Thomas, and formed the greatest trio that the Longhorns have seen at receiver from 2000-2003. He became the first Freshman to start at wide receiver since 1992 for the Longhorns, and finished 2nd in receptions and receiving yards among all Freshman wide receivers nationally. He broke the school single game Freshman receiving record with 9 catches for 168 yards against Baylor that year. Later on, BJ set the school record for the longest TD reception, a 92 yard bomb against the Houston Cougars and averaged a walloping 44 yards per TD reception. Johnson finished in the Top 10 All-Time for the Longhorns in receptions (152,
ranked 6th), touchdowns (16, ranked 5th), and yards receiving (2,359, ranked 5th) as quarterback Major Applewhite‘s favorite target. He considers his first TD grab as a Freshman in a losing effort to Stanford as his favorite play.
Johnson played unknowingly on a broken tibia in 2003, causing him to tumble off draft boards, after he strained an oblique during the Senior Bowl. He’d be signed by the Denver Broncos to a UDFA after the draft. He rehabbed and made the team, but injuries kept mounting for BJ. He’d break his ankle and then the following year tore his hamstring. BJ signed with Tampa in 2005, but messed up his shoulder, deciding to hang up his cleats.
In 2015, Johnson launched a line of Vodka called MVP with Roy Williams, that he’s been marketing around Texas. Appearing alongside other former Longhorn greats as well at bottle signings, I decided to give it a shot with Shawn and Nate when I saw that it was a nice cast of Johnson, Williams, and VY. Johnson was more than happy to sign a few cards for a Longhorn fan, and discussed with us the almost medieval sounding hoops that his company had to jump through with the different alcohol sellers- since it is still dominated by mom and pop stores.
I have 3 or 4 more cards of BJ that I hope to get signed in at a future MVP event near Austin, but it appears that their advertised meet and greet events are on hiatus around town for the time being.