Marquise Williams played for the San Antonio Commanders in 2019. A dangerous scrambler with great pocket presence and a great touch on the ball, Williams was a great change of pace for the Commanders from starter Logan Woodside. Initially moonlighting on 2 point conversions, Williams saw his play time increase as injuries, and a porous offensive line plagued Woodside over the season. After the Alliance collapsed in April of 2019, Marquise was spotted at the XFL tryouts.
Williams was selected by the New York Guardians in the XFL 2020 draft. He’d back up Matt McGloin at quarterback as the Guardians traded for Luis Perez from the Wildcats. With McGloin melting down early in the season, Williams saw some gametime action in relief against the Defenders and the Battlehawks, but by late February Luis Perez was named starter for the Guardians. Two games later the XFL ceased operations due to COVID.
Marquise has some great authentic autographs, so I wanted to pick these up since I was never able to get them while he was with the Commanders. The XFL certified was a pull, and much like its AAF predecessor, showcases just a simplified, nice, wholesome press photo of Marquise. Panini Contenders was doing some interesting stuff at the time of this evolutionary cycle of design with an image of Marquise on a design focused canvas. I am not much for the gaudiness of the Prism sets, but I really liked how Williams’ blue uniform pops from this silver background.
Marquise Williams played for the North Carolina Tarheels where he set numerous passing school records for the school as a dual threat QB from 2012-2015. He’d pass for 7,965 yards and 61 TD (25 INT) and rush for 2,458 yards and 35 TDs over his time at the school. After the 2016 NFL Draft, he’d spend time in camp with the Green Bay Packers.
The following year, he’d beat out Vince Young to make the roster of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Marquise spent the next year there and was later cut in 2018.
Williams was allocated to the Atlanta Legends for the 2019 AAF season. Ultimately however, he’d be selected in the second round of the Pick or Protect Draft by the San Antonio Commanders. I was crazy about Marquise. Since Mike Riley was the coach, Williams reminded me a lot of former Riders QB Mike Johnson. Throughout the season, Marquise was used in a variety of ways. Initially he saw time on the field during 2 point conversions and short yardage plays, but this was quickly abandoned by the Commanders- probably in favor of keeping starter Logan Woodside in rhythm.
Later in the season Marquise was able to get in some heavy playtime against the Salt Lake City Stallions during Week 7 and the Arizona Hotshots in Week 8. Notably against the Stallions, he’d spark the Commanders to a win in front of the largest crowd in AAF history. Williams had solid passing statistics during his brief time in the league. Marquise went 25/34 (73.5%) for 203 yards, and a 36 yard TD to Trey Williams. He’d also rush 21 times for 120 yards.
Marquise was spotted at the XFL Summer Showcase after the AAF folded, and was later selected by the New York Guardians of the XFL in the 10th round of the league’s draft.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.