Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Certified, Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home Sent: 9/26 Received: 10/9 (11 days) Failure: 2019, C/o The Salt Lake City Stallions, C/o The Washington Redskins
Josh Woodrum was quarterback for the Liberty Flames from 2012-2015. He finished his college career going 833/1304 for 10,266 yards with 61 TDs to 30 interceptions. He was one of only two mid-major QBs to be invited to the NFL combine- with the other being Carson Wentz. Although Woodrum did turn some heads, he was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He’d be a free agent signee of the New York Giants, and then see time on the rosters of the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. Obviously on the radar of a lot of teams but unable to latch onto a roster- Josh signed with the Salt Lake City Stallions of the AAF in 2018.
The AAF then decided that a few teams were stockpiling talent at QB- so in order to fairly distribute the talent they came up with the Protect or Pick QB Draft. The Stallions liked what they had, so they selected Josh with their first pick in the QB Draft (8th overall). Involved in a QB battle with BJ Daniels, Woodrum became the defacto starter after Daniels suffered a season ending injury during the preseason.
Josh started 7 games for the Stallions, and finished with 1,449 yards on 146/227 passing, 6 TDs to 8 interceptions. He finished second in the league, completing 64.3% of his passes, and overall as the 4th highest rated QB with a 76.4 QB Rating.
He joined the Redskins after the AAF folded but did not make the squad. Currently he is a free agent.
Well it took a while for me to find Josh, but after some persistence, I was able to track him down. I sent to him a mere days before the league folded, so I reloaded and tried him with the Redskins, where I failed again. Luckily Mark (Mark’s Signing Bonus) and I worked together to corner the AAF market and he had already gotten him at his home address- so technically the 3rd try was the charm here.
Card: Topps AAF Now 2019, Panini Prism 2015, Crown Royale 2015, Sage 2015, Score 2015, Topps XFL 2019, Acquired: IP 2019, SA Commanders Team Signing Dick’s Sporting Goods at The Rim. Ebay, 2020 TTM 2020, C/o Home Sent: 7/13 Received: 7/24 (11 days) Failure: TTM 2019, C/o The Minnesota Vikings
An all-star at Fresno State, Derron was named first team All WAC three times while playing for the Bulldogs. He pulled down 7 interceptions and 4 sacks in 2013, and 7 pass breakups and 80 tackles in 2014. Derron’s 15 career interceptions tied him for 5th on the school charts. A perfect storm emerged however with a hernia injury, (that caused Derron to miss the Senior Bowl and the combine,) and a bad pro day, which caused his draft day stock to drop. Scouts however, loved his ability to keep his eyes focused on the ball and the action in front of him, as well as his man cover skills.
Derron was selected in the 6th round in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He’d spend the next two seasons there, eventually landing on their practice squad in 2017, where he was signed off the Bengals by the Cleveland Browns. Over that period he got some game time experience posting 16 total tackles, a fumble recovery, and a pass deflection. Cut by the Browns in 2018, Derron kept in football shape, prepping for his next shot.
“He’s quiet in the DB room, but he’s the one guy that the guys look to. He’s kind of the calming factor in a very raucous bunch of defensive backs on our team.”
– Commanders GM Daryl Johnston
Derron made a lot of noise near the end of camp, and actually didn’t even start until Week 3 of the 2019 AAF season against the Iron. From there on however, he was lights out.
Derron in Week 4 earned AAF Defensive Player of the Week Honors, when he single-handedly demolished the Arizona Hotshots. He’d pick off a John Wolford pass and race 66 yards the other direction for a TD to open up the scoring. Then later in the game, he’d pick off Wolford again as the Hotshots tried to claw their way back into the contest. The following week against the Legends, he stepped in front of an errant Aaron Murray pass late in the game, and took that pass 87 yards to paydirt.
On the season Derron finished with 22 solo stops, 11 combined tackles, 8 pass deflections, and 3 interceptions for 153 yards and 2 TDs. Although the league ceased operations after 8 contests, Smith was posthumously named the AAF Defensive Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus for his outstanding play.
“On 309 snaps in coverage, Smith led the league at any position on defense with his 93.2 coverage grade as he intercepted three passes and broke up another five. He stuck his head in on 37 total tackles and missed just three while his eight defensive stops were a top-10 figure among safeties. His prowess in the secondary for the Commanders make him a legitimate candidate to potentially land a spot in the NFL this next season.”
-Pro Football Focus (on naming Smith the AAF Defender of the Year)
Derron was snatched up by the XFL later that year, after spending training camp with the Minnesota Vikings. He’d be the first defender taken off the board by his former GM Daryl Johnston, who was now working with the Dallas Renegades.
In 5 games with Dallas, Derron had 15 tackles, and an interception before the XFL 2020 folded due to COVID concerns.
I had a giant stack of cards of Derron I wanted to get signed and with his amazing game against the Hotshots and Legends, he zoomed near the top of my favorite Commanders defensive players. I got most of these autographs in person at an event at The Rim, before Week 7. Annoyingly the Topps AAF Now card arrived the next week in the mail so I had the stress of firing out this $10.00 card out into the wind and hoping it came back.
So you’re probably wondering, “How’d you track down Derron?” Easy. I cross referenced his bio to Twitter and found where he was at attached to his profile. From there I used Advanced Background Checks- and he popped right up.
Derron replied in about 10 days, signing both his XFL and AAF Now cards and wrote me a nice note, thanking me for being a fan. I was pumped.
Card: Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: In Person 2019, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Bay Vipers Scrimmage
MIcah Hannemann was a 3 year starter at Safety for BYU between 2015 and 2017. He posted 123 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 14 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, and 4 interceptions for 75 yards and a TD.
With the demise of the AAF, Hannemann was selected by the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL 2020 in the 6th round of phase 4. Over 5 games Micah posted 28 total tackles, before the XFL was cancelled due to COVID.
One of the first players I caught coming off the field on the Vipers’ side of the field was Micah. He was kind enough to sign my card and thanked me for being a fan of the AAF. We talked for a minute about the league and the Stallions before we went our separate ways.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.