Tag Archives: houston roughnecks

Nichols, Deatrick

Card: Topps XFL 2020 Certified
Acquired: EBay, 2020

Deatrick Nichols played cornerback for 3 years at South Florida from 2014-2018. He concluded his college career with 174 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 forced fumbles, 24 pass deflections, and 11 interceptions for 109 yards and a TD.

He wasn’t selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, but made the squad of the Arizona Cardinals eventually being elevated off the practice squad and into the lineup a few times during the season. After being waived, Nichols was selected by the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL 2020. Deatrick led the XFL with 3 interceptions, 6 pass deflections, a sack, and 24 tackles in 5 contests.

After the league suspended operations, Deatrick has been on the off-season rosters of the New Orleans Saints, and the Miami Dolphins.

Coates, Sammie

Cards: Topps Valor 2015, Sage 2015 Artistry, Sage 2015, Sage 2015 Next Level, Panini Prestige 2015, Panini Prestige Blue Chips 2015, Topps Air 2015, Panini Contenders 2016, Topps 2015, Leaf Draft 2015
Acquired: IP 2019, XFL Roughnecks Meet and Greet. Box Breaker 2020

Wow. What a haul. After seeing Sammie was drafted by the XFL Roughnecks I quickly pulled out as many cards of him as I could in anticipation of some sort of event or draft party and just bode my time. A few events passed by, and knowing I had a chit to burn to Houston for an event or two, I thought I’d wait it out and see. Lo and behold a triple billing of Head Coach June Jones, QB Connor Cook and Sammie popped up- so I made my move and went to the event.

I took a half day and drove down to North Houston. I’d never been to The Woodlands. It’s name is pretty apt as the bar they were at was in the middle of a shopping strip in a forest. I was one of the first people there, and immediately bumped heads with a fan who did not want to hang out with any other fans- little less one from Austin. He was quick to flip on me, constantly bagging on Austin, or saying, “There’s too many liberals in Austin,” – And not in a joking way. I tried to not let it spoil my enthusiasm for the team, but it was frustrating having that as my first experience. Part of the point of the league is no political drama, and here’s a guy making political theater out of it.

Anyway, Sammie, Connor, and June strolled in the door. I waited them out until after they’d eaten. Sammie was destroying some hot wings when I came up. He saw my cards and his eyes lit up, and after washing his hands and coming back signed every one of them. He liked the Sage 2015 cards so much, I gave him my extras I had for his PC. I asked him what position of WR that June Jones would have him at, but he said that it hadn’t been hammered out. We discussed his brief stay in Houston, where he called, Bill O’Brien, “Quite unique,” but notably had nothing bad to say about the ball coach. It was an easy pickup. Sammie signed 11 cards for me total- with an extra going to my friend Jeff, who was unable to go.

There is a thick stack of great cards that Sammie had for me to choose from. Thankfully he signed all of them. I really enjoyed the design on nearly all of them, with the Valor is the easy kill. The Sage Artistry was dreamy to me. I felt like there was a bit extra attention paid to creating this image, but the Panini Blue Chip was a well designed canvas, along with the Contenders which was a pleasant surprise.

Sammie Coates attended Auburn, where with his crisp routes, hands and speed, he burst onto the scene during his Sophomore year with 902 yards receiving on 42 receptions. He declared for the 2015 NFL Draft after finishing with 741 yards on 34 receptions to go along with 4 TDs in his Junior campaign, and was selected in the 3rd round of the draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coates had a rough go of it and got buried on the depth chart. He played sparingly his rookie year. In 2016 Sammie caught 21 passes for 435 yards and 2 TDs, however injuries drug down a good portion of his efforts for the year and early into training camp for 2017. Traded to the Browns, Sammie was with the team through Spring of 2018, where he then joined the receiver needy Texans. Cut by the Texans, Sammie went through training camp with the Chiefs, but did not make the roster.

He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the XFL Draft by the Houston Roughnecks where he is expected to see serious playing time in the Run N Shoot offense under guru June Jones.

I ended up drafting Sammie for my fantasy team. He had some near misses on TD grabs during the XFL regular season. Over the course of 4 games he caught 6 passes for 61 yards. I tried to see if he’d sign his XFL card for me TTM, but I didn’t get a response.

Williams, Andre

Cards: Topps Valor 2014, Topps 2014 Chrome, Leaf Draft 2013, Topps Valor 2014 Strength, Topps Fire 2014, Topps Flashback 85 Chrome 2014
Acquired: IP 2020, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Bay Vipers Scrimmage, Houston Roughnecks Season Ticket Holders Party

Andre Williams quietly put himself together quite a ledger while playing his college ball for Boston College from 2010-2013. During his Senior year he ran 355 times for 2,177 yards and 18 TDs, earning the Doak Walker award for his efforts in 2013. He was also a unanimous All-American. Williams parlayed his efforts into a 4th round selection by the New York Giants.

Andre had a solid rookie year with 721 yards and 7 rushing TDs, including a 131 yard effort against the Titans. Surprisingly after a poor performance in 2015, Andre was released by the team. He’d earn his way onto the starting roster with the Chargers in 2016, running for 87 yards in the season finale. He’d see sparse playing time for the team in 2017 on and off the practice squad and then as an injury casualty to end the season.

Williams was selected in the 9th round of the XFL player draft by the Houston Roughnecks in 2020. The Roughnecks under head coach June Jones exclusively ran the Run N Shoot offense, so there was just one back in the backfield. Andre split time in the backfield with James Butler. In 5 contests, Andre rushed 23 times for 92 yards. It’s a shame that the XFL ended when it did, as Williams had his best game in the finale against Seattle, rushing 10 times for 54 yards in the Roughnecks 32-23 win.

With a lot of Run N Shoot style backs available to the Roughnecks in the XFL Draft, I was surprised the Roughnecks selected Williams. Nonetheless I snuck him onto my XFL fantasy squad, figuring that he’d eventually he’d see the lion’s share of carries.

Andre had a stack of great cards that were produced in a very short period of time. He’s got a pretty solid graph too, with some nice loops and a strong hook on the S at the end. I really liked his Topps Valor cards. They really pulled out all the punches at the end on that set, and artistically it has a lot of merit.

The first time I got Andre’s autograph, Lance and I caught him as he was leaving the field after the Vipers scrimmage. He was very nice, and graciously signed a stack of card for me. At the end of our conversation, he blessed me- which made me respond accordingly and thank him for his time.

I think I just had one more card of him left for the Roughnecks Season Ticket Holder event the weekend before the first game. He was interviewed by the FOX Sports team and as he left the stage signed this final card for me.