Jamie Morris is one of the smallest players to play runningback in the NFL. At a mere 5’7″, 188 he towered over opponents toting the rock for the Michigan Wolverines. He had 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons for Ann Arbor, culminating in his Senior campaign in 1987 when he had 282 carries for 1703 yards and 14 TDs. He finished his college career as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 806 carries for 4392 yards, 25 TDs and 99 receptions (also a school record) for 756 yards and 3 TDs. Jamie was selected in the 4th round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
Jamie made it onto the regular season roster of the Redskins, where he was designated primarily as a kick returner. Still over the course of the 16 game schedule, Morris managed to put together 126 carries for 437 yards and 2 TDs. He also returned 21 kicks for 413 yards. Jamie is perhaps best remembered by Redskins faithful as the back who set the NFL record with 45 carries (152 yards) in a 20-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1988. It should be noted that over his short but notable NFL career, Jamie posted a 38 carry game and a 26 carry game in 1989 as well.
Morris signed with the New England Patriots in 1990 where he served primarily as a kick returner. He finished with 11 returns for 202 yards and 2 carries for 4 yards. Afterwards Jamie joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 1991. He had a career high 591 yards rushing, 263 yards receiving, and 435 kick return yards.
Jamie lives in Michigan and is involved deeply with his Alma Mater. I tried writing him a few years ago care of Michigan when he was working for the Athletic Department as a development manager but had no luck. Recently some successes popped up of him through the radio station where he hosts a show talking all things Wolverines- so I decided to give him another shot on these two awesome cards. Although I was happy to finally knock this retry reply off my list, I was pained to see he knew enough about Action Packed that he should sign the card in the autograph slot on the back of the card. It is truly a beautiful card however.
Action Packed did sort of a test run in 1989 with the big two titans (ProSet and Score), but got lost in the mix. The only difference between the lesser known 89 and 90 releases is that the marquee was colored on the front of the card. The 1990 set even reused some of the photos from the previous year.
Don Maynard is considered the best receiver in Jets history, one of the best receivers in AFL history, and one of the best receivers in NFL history. At the time of Maynard’s retirement he held the NFL record for career receptions and yards. He was the first player to crack the 10k barrier in receiving yards. An amazing feat considering it was still during an era where the passing game had not fully developed yet. Don epitomized consistency and longevity. (Oddly enough he never led the league in catches at any time but his sheer numbers made up for it en force.)
Maynard was originally drafted by the New York Giants in 1957, but only played one lone season for them before bolting North to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. He’d return shortly thereafter to the fledgling AFL in 1960- becoming the first signee of the then New York Titans (later Jets). Over the next 10 seasons in the AFL he’d be named to the All-AFL team 4 times. In the final season before the AFL NFL merger, he’d help the Jets win Super Bowl III and notably graced the cover of the big game’s program guide as well.
Don joined the Rams in 73, but ultimately ended up on the St. Louis Cardinals for a lone season, retiring after a bout with the WFL playing for the Shreveport Steamer/ Houston Texans.
Maynard played college ball for Rice, and later Texas Western (UTEP). He was a proven runningback and defensive back, but was unpolished gold at receiver. His number has been retired by the Jets, got his gold jacket along the way, and has been a Grand Marshall for UTEP at one of their parades. He lives outside of the El Paso area, in relative anonymity.
I had been wanting Don for sometime but I thought he was out of reach. I really liked these cards of his and always wanted to get them signed so I went ahead and took a shot with a small donation. In the end I also had a Pro Set Super Bowl III card that I opted to send to Matt Snell instead (because he should’ve been MVP). Still the Topps 1970 is iconic, while the Upper Deck Legends 1997 hits all the marks for perfection.
Cierre Wood was a solid runningback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from 2010-2013. In his Sophomore year he led the team with 603 yards on 119 carries, scoring 3 TDs. He also displayed nice hands out of the backfield with 20 receptions for 170 yards and 2 TDs. Cierre put together a solid Junior year, with 1,102 yards and 9 TDs on 217 carries. He returned for his Senior campaign in 2013 and posted 742 yards on 114 carries. Scouts were underwhelmed by Wood’s blocking, questioned his ball security, and were concerned about a suspension for breaking team rules during his Senior season. He went unselected during the 2013 NFL Draft.
Cierre signed with the Houston Texans for 2013. The Texans were in transition at runningback and beginning to seek a future heir for Arian Foster. With Foster oft-injured, Ben Tate locked into the second string job and the departure of Justin Forsett to greener pastures, it was a straight up battle between Dennis Johnson, Cierre Wood, and Ray Graham for the 3rd back spot. In the end Wood won out on the runningback derby. The Texans kicked off the season 2-0, but then dropped the next 14 games. It was really a snakebitten squad. Injuries abound, quarterback issues, Kubiak having a heart attack during a game- it was just one thing after another. In the midst of the descent Cierre was released with two other players for violating unspecified team rules. He’d finish the season on the practice squad of the New England Patriots.
In 2014, Cierre spent some time on the rosters of both the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. He joined the Buffalo Bills in 2015 but blew out an ACL, ending his season. Wood rehabbed and decided to give the CFL a shot, signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017. In early May he was traded to the Montreal Alouettes but did not make the squad.
Panini’s Contenders set is always pretty solid. I found the split design of this particular card to be both daring and unique as there are very few column grid cards like this one. The photo is touched up well and it’s a solid action shot of Cierre. Even the typography of this card looks good, and there is plenty of space for the autograph.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.