Cards: Sage 2014, Sage 2014 Next Level
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o The Jacksonville Jaguars
Sent: 11/12 Received: 12/2 (23 days)
Allen Hurns has been an amazing find by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fighting his way up a decent roster of receivers and draftees, Hurns has emerged as one of young quarterback Blake Bortles consistent targets. Allen also forms with Allen Robinson to be one of the most potent duos in the league at that position. In 2014, he played more of a split end for the Jags catching 51 passes for 677 yards and 6 TDs. He’d break the 1,000 yard barrier in 2015 on 64 receptions, while hauling in 10 TDs, including an 80 yarder in 2015. All the more impressive, Allen also set the team record for most consecutive games with a TD reception (7).
A track and football guy in college at The University of Miami, FL, Allen set the single-season school record with 1,162 receiving yards in 2014. Hurns slipped through the draft unnoticed and was considered a 7th round pick or a priority free agent by many teams. His tape really didn’t do him justice, but it didn’t help that he was running so many short to intermediate basic routes. Being so nearby to Jacksonville, it made sense that the Jaguars take a flyer on him.
I don’t have that many Jaguars in my collection, something I’ve been slow to rectify. This is partially due to the fact that they joined the NFL after I had stopped collecting in the 90s and that they are considered a division rival. Still in the last few years, I have flirted with the Jags. I really like what they’ve done offensively to open things up in the last 2-3 years, and I make no secret that I think that Blake Bortles is one of the best QBs to come along in the last few years. I went ahead and took a shot at Hurns and he signed and personalized these two cards in a pretty short amount of time.
Cards: Topps Inception 2014 (#97/199), Bowman 2013
Acquired: In Person 12/15/2015, Whataburger Community Player of the Year
Cecil Shorts went to Mount Union- located in Alliance, Ohio. The Purple Raiders are a Division III team and a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Among the other notable alumni to graduate from Mount Union, are Dom Capers and Pierre Garçon. After Garçon graduated in 2008, Shorts shifted from quarterback to wide receiver. He finished his career at Mount Union with 63 touchdowns and 4,705 yards receiving.
Cecil was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 114th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Scouts got the impression that Shorts’ early on experience at quarterback helped him adjust quickly to receiver, reading opposing defenses, and running crisp routes. They were equally impressed by his intangibles, level of competition, and his
leadership. The knock on Cecil was he played at DIII, and while he is a complete receiver -he lacked the size and burst that first round prospects possessed. It wasn’t until 2012 that Cecil got a shot at the starting lineup as Blaine Gabbert’s #1 target. Barely missing the 1,000 yard mark (979 yards), Shorts established himself as a long bomb threat. He scored 7 TDs that year and averaged 17.8 yards per catch. Over the next two years Cecil’s production slipped and after the 2014 season he was allowed to seek free agency.
After the departure of longtime receiver Andre Johnson, the Texans were looking to rebuild their wide receiver stable and signed Cecil to a two year contract. Shorts makes a natural fit for what the Texans want to do, and threw him in at the slot. He made an impact during the preseason catching a 58 yard TD against the 49ers, and was one of the team’s impact players. In 2015 Shorts played in 11 games, recording 42 catches for 484 yards and 2 TDs. Entering 2016 Cecil is the ‘grizzled’ veteran now in the WR corps entering only his 6th season. Liking what he has experienced in H-town, Shorts actually negotiated his contract to be more cap friendly but with so much speed on the Texans roster he didn’t make the 2016 squad. Although his veteran presence and leadership will be missed, Shorts will surely find a home with a squad in need of an experienced slot man.
I faced a dilemma at this event trying to decide which card of Shorts I should get signed at this event. The situation resolved itself quickly since I was the first person in line and Shorts was the first player I met. He signed both cards for me, and his son gushed over his Topps Inception card, that I was equally enthralled by.
Card: Sage 2014
Acquired: 2015, Box Breaker
Henry Josey is chasing the dream and you have to admire a man like that. After running for 263 yards in one game as a Sophmore for Missou, catching 175 passes, and running for over a thousand yards twice in his career, you’d think a guy’s name with 4.4 speed would be etched on a map somewhere for a professional team, but things didn’t work out that way for Josey.
Going undrafted he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014. While he had a great preseason rushing for the Eagles, averaging 6.6 yards per carry on 225 yards, he was part of the final painful round of cuts. From there, the Barry Sanders sized running back has been on rosters of the Colts, Jaguars, and the Vikings -just in 2014.
After being cut by the Vikings in 2015, Henry signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He rushed for 30 yards, and had 4 receptions in his debut season for the Argos.