Here’s an interesting card from one of those blaster boxes of Panini I’ve become so loathe of recent. If I told you 4 years ago, Kenny Hill would be on a TCU card and not be enshrined alongside Johnny Manziel as a one of the Texas A&M great quarterbacks, you would think I was mad- but here we are.
Backing up for Manziel for just one year in 2014, Kenny was handed the keys to the Aggies fortunes a year later. He would not disappoint in his first start- breaking Manziel’s single game school passing record (511 yards), and Jerrod Johnson’s single game school record (44 completions), against then #9 South Carolina. Almost immediately sensing an opportunity Hill trademarked his moniker ‘The Trill’ for promotional purposes- but after warming up against what turned out to be mid-tier talent, Hill’s number began to tail off against tougher opponents. After losing 3 straight games, he’d be benched- and then suspended for 2 games. Was the pressure too much at AtM or was the school just not patient enough? Who really knows? Whatever the circumstances, Kenny transferred to TCU in 2016. On the season it should be noted he threw 23 TDs to just 8 interceptions and completed 66.7% of his passes.
After a subpar 2016, Kenny again lit up the scoreboard, bringing his signature style of football to the Horned Frogs posting almost identical numbers to his year as starter at AtM. In his final game he’d beat the Stanford Cardinal 39-37 in the Valero Bowl, as TCU finished ranked 9th in the nation.
Kennny was unselected in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’d sign with the Oakland Raiders, but was quickly cut. Later he’d be picked up by the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL, but is rumored to be high on the wishlist of the upstart AAF San Antonio franchise.
Karl Joseph was counted on from day one by the West Virginia Mountaineers to anchor their secondary. In his Freshman year of 2012, he put up 104 tackles, and generally was counted on to be an enforcer for much of his first 3 years playing for WVU. During his Senior year he led the NCAA in interceptions (5) before a knee injury ended his season prematurely.
With the 14th pick overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Raiders selected Joseph to help address the depth on the backend of their defense. He made 10 starts in his rookie season, recording an interception, 6 passes defensed, 51 tackles, and a fumble recovery.
2018 was a tumultuous season for the Raiders with many key pieces of the team being traded to other teams. Karl was no exception, but after turning in a decent 2017 from free safety with 79 combined tackles and an interception, he turned it up a notch in 2018 and really started playing his best ball during December. While the jury is still out on if he’s on the outs after the season concludes, no one can say Joseph didn’t show up in the end.
This is a stunning card. I love the color combination and the photo composition. His name is in a reflective foil, barely able to be made out of the scan, but overall, this is a great set.
Chris Hackett played for the TCU Horned Frogs from 2012-2014 at defensive back and safety. His best season came in 2014, when he posted 75 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 6 passes defended, and 7 interceptions for 131 yards. Over his career at TCU he posted 224 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 11 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery, and 12 interceptions for 154 yards. Chris declared early and headed to the NFL. Scouts were mixed about his talent at the next level, and an unimpressive combine sealed his fate.
Hackett was not selected in the 2015 NFL draft. He’d sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was released during final cutdowns. Later that year, Hackett was signed by the Oakland Raiders to their practice squad. He’d be released during the 2016 preseason. Currently he’s a free agent.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.