Card: UT Upper Deck 2011, UT Upper Deck 2011 AA
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 11/30 Received: 12/10 (10 days)
Russell Erxleben was an amazing kicker and punter in college for the University of Texas kicking an NCAA record 67 yard field goal in 1977. He’d be named All American 1976-1978 and also set a Texas single season record, averaging 46.6 yards a punt. After graduating from UT, the New Orleans Saints made Russell their #1 pick in 1979 where he’d play double duty again as a punter and kicker. Oddly the team utilized him sparingly as a kicker over his career but he averaged a bit over 40 yards a punt in his 5 seasons with the Saints punting 279 times, including a club record 89 in 1980. In 1982 Erxleben had a career high 43.0 yard average on 46 punts. He’d be cut in 1983, and play as a scab in 1987 on the Lions for one contest, but subsequently retire after the season.
Unfortunately Russell’s name has never been able to shake his lofty draft status, since he was the second highest drafted kicker in NFL history. Erxleben was also convicted of securities fraud in 1999, and but was released in 2005. He currently is retired and living near Dripping Springs, Texas, and enjoys watching his son follow in his footsteps as a kicking specialist with- Texas Tech.
Somebody was cutting corners on these cards with that weak blur in the background of Erxleben’s set card. Didn’t you guys learn how to make proper masks in Photoshop? As far as autographs go, Russell has a fairly pedestrian one, as it lacks the boldness of an autograph but belies the subtlety of a signature. I rubbed the film significantly on the surface of the card so that it could take the autograph better, and it appears for the most part that it worked as there is only a little ink loss from the bubbling. Erxleben makes the first TTM success from the UT Upper Deck 2011 set, signing these 2 cards in 10 days. I look forward to many more in the future and this is a great way to get fans interested and aligned with particular college interests.
Card: Upper Deck UT 2011
Acquired: Box Breaker, 11/9/11 Card Traders of Austin UD 2011 UT Football Card Launch Party
I find the fade effect on this card to be passe. Also I question if a landscape card was the right choice for this subject as a portrait shot probably could’ve been much more dynamic. I liked the names that were included in the set, but there is little statistical information included, and the design on the back feels… lazy, along with the numbers and information which feel too small and hard to read, even with someone with great eyes such as myself. Overall it’s a weak effort by Upper Deck, and I think The University of Texas could’ve done better in house.
Hodges Mitchell had the unenviable position of following up Ricky Williams at runningback. A 2 time All-Big 12 selection, he is seventh on the school’s career rushing list with 2,664 yards. A versatile, quick and explosive four-year running back he was one of the Big 12’s top offensive weapons, both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. Mitchell played in 48 career games and started the final 26 contests of his career, participating in three bowl games (1999-2000 Cotton Bowls; 2000 Holiday Bowl). A two-time UT Darrell K Royal Most Valuable Offensive Player and Outstanding Offensive Back (1999-2000), three-time Frank Denius Award Winner and the first player in UT history to post more than 1,000 yards rushing and 300 receiving yards in a season (1999-2000). Hodges was ranked fourth on UT’s career all-purpose yards list with 4,945 yards at the end of his career and 7.0 yards per touch during his career. Mitchell scored 20 career touchdowns and holds the record for most rushing attempts in a game with 45, which came in a 29-17 win over Texas Tech in 2000. Mitchell looked headed for a promising NFL career but in his final game against Oregon, he blew out his knees. Hodges still attended the combine on crutches but being undersized at 5’7″, 180 and also injured, no team was willing to take a flyer on him.
Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at Texas in 2002 and works as a supervisor for Dallas Utilities Paystation. He is single and counsels young people at the Inspired Body of the Christ church in Dallas. He loves to watch soccer, one of his childhood hobbies.
Cards: Topps 1980, Topps 1981
Acquired: In Person, 11/9/11 Card Traders of Austin UD 2011 UT Football Card Launch Party
Really Upper Deck? Shame on you for not printing a card of University of Texas legend Jerry Sisemore. I guess they are saving him for series 2. Pathetic. Well Jerry also appeared at the event and signed some cards. He was a last second booking, but I was happy to add him finally to the collection along with Bill Bradley, Johnny Walker, and Rod Babers.
The 3rd overall pick of the 1974 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Jerry Sisemore was a man-mountain, at 6’4″, 250 after graduating from the University of Texas. He’d go on to start 155 games for the franchise over the next 12 seasons at both guard and tackle. Sisemore played for an Eagles franchise from some of the lowest doldrums of the NFC East, to its apogee and the Super Bowl in 1980. In 1979 alone he played for a monstrous 430 minutes. Considered one of the Eagles finest linemen ever, he was inducted into the Eagles Wall of Honor in 1991 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Currently Sisemore partially owns a chain of sub shops in Austin called Delaware Subs, that used to air somewhat hilarious commercials where his Texas drawl and delivery were the punchline of them. He’s dabbled in coaching, lastly for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL. Jerry also is highly active in commercial property development, which if you live in Austin is quite lucrative.