Card: Sage 2014 (#178/250)
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker
Okay, let’s forget about the shirt that Brett is wearing. It’s a one of a kind on a card though as I’ve never seen a curse word sneak through. Sage’s entry is not a pretty one here, but rarely are their photos ever exciting. It’s a pretty basic entry and not very risky. Kudos though for showcasing what matters: the certified autograph. I didn’t really like the cards out of this set, but for what it matters, you can still find hobby boxes of this set at an extremely reasonable price (2017), fattening up your collection by 7-10 autographs in each box.
Brett Smith played for Wyoming from 2010-2013. Despite setting numerous records for the Cowboys including career offensive yards (10,390), passing TDs (76), career TDs (97), and most total yards passing in a game (640), he was not selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’d sign as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Bucs and later join the CFL as a member of the Toronto Argonauts, and then the Arena Football League with the San Jose SabreCats.
In 2015 Brett rejoined the CFL, signing with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He’d win the 3rd string job, but end up starting a fair amount of the season, after injuries hit the quarterback position. Smith finished with a respectable 15 TDs to 9 interceptions on the season. After the season he spent time on the rosters of the Redblacks (2016) and Eskimos (2017). Currently he is a free agent.
Card: Playoff Contenders 2007
Acquired: 2016, EBay
Jared Zabransky was a dual threat quarterback for Boise State, and helped bring the program national respect with their thrilling victory over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Over 4 years, Zabransky was 610/980 for 8256 yards, 58 TDs to 37 interceptions. He also contributed 863 yards and 31 TDs on the ground.
Scouts didn’t really think that Zabransky was going to fit in the NFL as a quarterback. In fact his situation graded out similar to Eric Crouch. Sure he was a talented athlete, but Jared’s arm strength and passing mechanics concerned teams. Certainly however Zabransky made up for it in intangibles: Leadership and always finding a way to win. He went unselected in the 2007 NFL draft. Afterwards he signed with the Houston Texans, briefly appearing on their practice squad. He’d join the Steelers in 2008 but be cut before the regular season.
Jared wanted to keep playing QB so he went to the CFL, signing with the Edmonton Eskimos, seeing primarily backup and mopup duty over his career from 2009-2011. His best game came perhaps in 2010 for the Esks when Jared passed for 188 yards on 16 of 23 and 2 touchdowns.
As of 2016 he resides in The Woodlands, Texas, and is the director of sales of oil and gas for an OEM of oil drilling equipment.
I remember when the Texans signed Jared. The team had just jettisoned David Carr and handed the keys over to Matt Schaub. Sage Rosenfels had the inside track for second string QB, while Zabransky looked to nab the Practice Squad QB or the 3rd string spot. The Texans in the end elected not to carry 3 QBs however, and Zabransky was disappointingly cut.
Card: Sage 2008
Acquired: 2016, Target Autographed Memorabilia
Marcus Howard played at Georgia as a linebacker and defensive end. The tweener had his best year as a Senior, with 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 41 tackles. He saved his best game for last, earning Sugar Bowl MVP Honors in 2008, with 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble that he scored on, during the Bulldogs 41-10 thrashing of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Howard was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He played in 9 games and finished his rookie year with 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. With a new head coach in Jim Caldwell for 2009, the team decided to go in another direction with the defense. Marcus was cut but found a home with the Tennessee Titans in 2010- a team he spent the season on an off the roster for.
In 2011, Marcus signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL where he finally was able to see significant playing time on the field. During his rookie season in the league he posted 11 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He played for the Eskimos through 2017 and has 36 career sacks and 5 forced fumbles.