Earl Okine is a giant of a physical specimen clocking in at 6’8″, 290. He played defensive end and tackle for the Florida Gators from 2009-2012. Over that period he managed 27 tackles and a sack. He’d go undrafted in 2013- later signing with the Houston Texans, and then briefly joining the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. In 2014, Earl played for the Orlando Predators of the Arena leagues, where I saw him play against the San Antonio Talons that year. He notched 28 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 pass blocks, and a forced fumble. Later he hopped over to the FXFL to join the Brooklyn Bolts.
Earl finally found a home in the NFL with the Colts in 2015, spending nearly the entire season on and off the Colts regular season roster and practice squad. He then spent the next year on the Kansas City Chiefs on the bubble of the roster as well at OLB. After a short stay on the Lions, he’d spend the entire 2017 season on the practice squad of the Cardinals.
He’d join the Alliance of American Football in 2018- signing with the Orlando Apollos. The Apollos decided to put Earl’s strengths to best use at outside linebacker. Earl started 7 games for the 7-1 Apollos. He finished with 26 tackles, 5 sacks, and a critical tipped ball interception that he made to seal the win against the Memphis Express in Week 8.
A third round pick by the Indianapolis Colts out of Florida Atlantic in 2015, D’Joun Smith had 113 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 21 passs deflections, 3 forced fumbles, and 9 picks for 135 yards and 2 TDs in 3 years for the Owls.
D’Joun has had problems staying on the field due to injury. He dressed for 4 games and made a tackle in 2015. In 2016, Smith was released by the Colts, and then spent a few months on the practice squad of the Lions and Titans. He’d be released in 2017.
Smith joined the AAF Orlando Apollos during 2018, and made the final roster of the team for 2019, but was inexplicably cut after the second game. (He’d record 1 tackle in the preseason contest against SD.) D’Joun joined the Baltimore Brigade of the Arena Football league, but it is unclear if he made the team or was placed on injured reserve.
Sean Price played college ball for South Florida. His best season came in his Senior year when he had 20 receptions for 306 yards and 5 scores, earning him a second-team all-conference selection. Over Sean’s time at the school he logged 76 receptions for 907 yards and 6 TDs, with the yardage and receptions being school records for the position. After the 2016 draft concluded he signed with the Baltimore Ravens but did not make the squad. He earned a workout in May of 2017 with the Packers but was not brought into camp.
This particular card is okay. Here it feels a bit rushed on the player photo. It seems like the eraser tool was used to dab at the edge to make it blend better or a blur was used to try to ease the transition. The result of the blending of the image into the grass makes it appears choppy and uneven.
I recognized Sean’s names from the list of Apollos when he signed with the AAF. I tucked his base card away in the hopes I’d be able to see him at training camp that year- but my father passed away before I could finalize plans. When Orlando came to town, they were the only team that I completely struck out on for autographs. The players were just too intimidating. Price finished the season with 3 catches for 62 yards and a 2 point conversion for the Apollos.
When the league folded I got a hot tip from Mark about Sean so I decided to send these cards out to him. I am happy to get his autograph on his card, however his autograph- which is in pen just disappears on the canvas. Oh well. Can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
He ended up joining the Dallas Renegades of the XFL in 2020. He saw some playing time behind blossoming star Donald Parham at tight end. His best game came against the Wildcats when he caught 3 passes for 40 yards. Sean finished with 6 catches for 78 yards on the 5 game COVID shortened season.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.