An imposing player on the field clocking in at an impressive 6’5″, 320, Moqut Ruffins is a versatile athlete, who played defensive line during his time at Louisiana Tech. He recorded 79 tackles and 3 sacks for the Bulldogs before joining the AFL in 2010 with Bossier-Shreveport. There he’d make the jump to offense and started playing offensive line and tight end. Along the way he’s also played for the New Orleans Voodoo (2011) and the Pittsburgh Power (2012), before joining the San Antonio Talons. Moqut recorded a career high 17 receptions for 181 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2013, and then again in 2014 with 19 catches for 151 yards and another 5 scores. The Talons in particular enjoyed utilizing Moqut on tight end screens where he was a devastating option for the San Antonio offense.
After playing college ball at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Brent joined the AFL in 2008 splitting time on the roster of 3 teams: Georgia, Tampa, and Philadelphia. Still he managed to haul in 69 receptions for 745 yards and 11 touchdowns. Holmes joined the roster of the Cleveland Gladiators in 2010, where he had his finest season to date, recording 1,299 yards and 22 touchdowns on 110 receptions. In 2011, he’d split time on the roster of the Milwaukee Iron and the Kansas City Command. There he’d bag 70 catches for 772 yards and 10 TDs, before heading over to San Antonio for the 2012 season, tallying another 62 receptions and 4 TDs. Holmes has rejoined the San Antonio Talons in 2014 after spending 2013 with the New Orleans Voodoo. An accomplished return man as well, Brent has returned 178 kicks for 2743 yards and a TD.
I was really surprised to see how many players were in attendance to rally support and it really goes to show how much the AFL wants the Talons to succeed. When Brent saw my custom card, he got very excited and hugged the card to his chest. After telling me that the card made his week, he asked me to send him a copy of it since he had never had one before. Brent even got excited about the fact that it was from his time with the Milwaukee Iron. He gleefully signed the card and gave me his email so I could send him a digital copy for himself. I was really happy that my effort could touch his life in such a profound way.
Later at the Talons game, Brent had made his way onto IR due to a broken forearm, but he recognized me, and welcomed me with a beaming smile. I gave Brent the cards of himself in his San Antonio uniform and had him sign this TNT AFL 14 card for me. He was instrumental in helping me get down to the field after the game so that I could snag a few autographs before the crowd hit.
I think a lot of NFL’ers have lost sight of what really makes the league: the fans. It’s not just the paying fans, or the kids, or the money- it’s all the fans they entertain. I wish the NFL would take a page out of the Arena leagues about this, because there’s not much ceiling left for the #1 sport if they aren’t trying to foster the base.
Subtle changes were made between the 2011 AFL Starter set and the 2014 Talons release. I removed the team name, and moved the player name up. This was done for bleed and tangent purposes. In addition the player name, number, and position were also colored, as opposed to the flat white. The final thing I did was give a light poster effect to the photo to make it pop a bit from the dark image. I think the 2014 effort is a quiet refinement of the original design, but now that I’ve had time to let it set in, I’d tweak it some more too.
Of all the players that the San Antonio Talons signed in 2014, I was most excited about PJ Berry. I had created a demo card of PJ back in 2011, when I was planning to do one shots of all the team’s best players in the AFL. While the project quickly broke down because of real life stuff, I always had it somewhat on the backburner. The cards are like nothing on the market, and that to me is very exciting. So to come back to this project and find that AFL players like it and some are even asking me for some is very flattering. When the Talons signed PJ I tweeted him a copy of his card. He really liked it a lot and retweeted it to his masses. I told him I’d see him soon to have it autographed. Lo and behold at the Talons event, when the players swarmed me to look at my cards, they started shouting, “PJ! PJ! He’s got your card! Come see this!” As PJ came over I told him that I was a man of my word and here I was to get my card autographed. He shook my hand and made a good scene of it, and told me that he wasn’t Superman right now, -just Clark Kent.
PJ has quickly established himself as one of the most electrifying players in the AFL. In his rookie season for Bossier-Shreveport, he recorded 118 receptions for 1,352 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also had 65 kick returns for 1,171 yards and 2 touchdowns to add to his totals in 2010. While he’d be beaten out for rookie of the year honors by Rod Windsor, Berry was named AFL Ironman of the Year in 2011, after he set the league season record for all purpose yardage with 3,752 yards from scrimmage and kick returns (100) with the New Orleans Voodoo. Another fine season in Pittsburgh in 2012 with 1,282 yards and a franchise record 2,024 yards kick returning earned Berry his second consecutive Ironman award, but he’d have a down year in 2013, before being assigned to the San Antonio Talons for 2014.
Berry also played for the South Georgia Wildcats of AFL2 in 2008 where he was known as an explosive and dangerous kick returner, demonstrated by his 6 TDs during that season. Its a shame really that PJ hasn’t been able to catch onto an NFL roster. He was given a tryout with the Saints in 2011 after he record breaking season, but because of New Orleans depth, PJ was unable to make the team. Still PJ is considered a budding star of the AFL at this time and he is considered my biggest catch of the league to date.