Tag Archives: Memphis Express

Hackenberg, Christian

Cards: Topps AAF Certified 2019, Topps AAF 2019, Panini Contenders 2015, Panini Contenders 2015 School Colors
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home. EBay, 2019
Sent: 4/26/19 Received: 5/23/19 (27 days)

I really had high hopes for Christian Hackenberg that he’d resurrect his career with the AAF in 2019. He’s been through a lot as a professional and has really put his best foot forward. He even worked with renowned quarterback coaches trying to fix a hole in his throwing motion.

In college at Penn State, he was tutored by future head coach Bill O’Brien. Hackenberg put together some solid numbers playing for the Nittany Lions throwing for 8,457 yards and 48 TDs to 31 interceptions over 3 years. After his junior season in 2015, he’d declare for the 2016 NFL draft, and while rumors swirled that he’d be selected possibly by his former coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans, the Jets ultimately chose him with the 51st pick of the second round where they planned to groom him as the franchise’s quarterback of the future. He rode the bench for the season, and then battled it out in camp during the 2017 season against Bryce Petty and Josh McCown. He had a decent preseason, but again saw no playing time.

Hackenberg then in 2018 was traded to the Raiders, but the trade was cancelled the next day, so he was released outright. A few months later he signed with the Eagles for the preseason, where he saw limited playing time. He’d be released before the regular season, and join the Bengals practice squad for a few months.

He’d opt to join the upstart Alliance of American Football in November of 2018, and was selected by the Memphis Express in the second round of the League’s quarterback Pick or Protect Draft. Hackenberg beat out first round pick Troy Cook, Brandon Silvers, and Zack Mettenberger in camp to nab the starting gig.

Hack then ran into a buzzsaw against the defensive minded Birmingham Iron his first week throwing for 87 yards and an interception on 10 of 23 passing. Memphis was shut out 26-0. Although the Express’ fares improved very slowly over the next two games, Christian wasn’t able to put the rock in the endzone through the air. He’d be benched in favor of Zack Mettenberger, then later passed up for Brandon Silvers, and ultimately in the end by Johnny Manziel. On the season, Hack finished 32 of 62 for 277 yards and 3 interceptions, while rushing for 47 yards on 9 carries- scoring one TD.

Christian was high on my list to get an autograph from, as he had a great selection of cards to choose from. He had these great AAF cards, and also some Panini cards I was itching to get signed at the next game, but before I could do so, the league folded.

My friend Mark, from Markssigningbonus.com came through for me on this collaboration passing this address forward to me so that I could give Hack another shot. He signed all 3 of my cards with his nice, loopy signature. I find it interesting that he abbreviates his first name to just ‘C.’. Also the C has a strong upper loop in it, and leans heavily to the right.

As the market collapsed on the AAF certified’s later in 2019, I was able to pick up his autograph. It’s a nice looking card of him and I hope he continues his football journey in whatever manner it may continue.

Ross, Kayaune

Card: Topps AAF Certified 2019
Acquired: 2019, EBay

Before Kayaune joined the Kentucky Wildcats in 2016, he saw valuable playing time at Phoenix College (JC). Over his two years with the Wildcats, Ross caught 21 passes for 296 yards and a TD. A track man, NFL teams were intrigued by Ross’ speed and he spent some time on the preseason rosters of the Bengals, Seahawks, Colts, and up north with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Kayaune joined the AAF in 2019 and was assigned to the Memphis Express. The team or league was confident in his star power and made jerseys of him before the season, but after the week 2 contest against the Hotshots, he had just one catch for 7 yards on the season. Coach Singletary, attempting to churn the roster to bring some life to the WR corps, Kayaune was cut from the Express, ending his AAF stay after 2 games.

Allen, Austin

Card: Panini Contenders Draft Picks 2018
Acquired: 2019, Box Breaker

Austin Allen played for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 2014 to 2017. He saw significant playing time as both a Junior and Senior, and over his 4 years in Fayetteville, he threw for 5,045 yards (359/607) and 36 TDs as a traditional drop back passer.

He’d be signed after the 2018 NFL Draft as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the top 3 spots essentially settled at QB for the Bucs, Allen got his most playtime in during the final preseason game against the Jaguars. He’d complete 4 of 10 passes for 64 yards and a pick.

After being cut, Austin quickly found a home with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football. During the AAF Protect or Pick QB Draft, Allen was selected in the 3rd round by the Salt Lake City Stallions.

During the preseason, Austin was 5 of 7 for 65 yards against Memphis. He’d back up Josh Woodrum at QB for the entire season, seeing his most extensive action in week 2 against Birmingham. Allen was 15/31 for 114 yards versus the Iron.

After the dissolution of the AAF, Austin was most recently spotted trying out for the XFL 2020 initiative but was not selected in the league’s draft.