Fred Warner played in college for Brigham Young at linebacker where he started from 2015 to 2017 for the Cougars. In his Sophomore campaign of 2015, he had 67 tackles, 4 sacks, and 11.5 tackles for loss. He’d earn All-Independent Honors the following year when he posted 86 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 3 interceptions. His 2017 was equally impressive, when he had 87 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and an interception.
Fred was taken in the 3rd round by the San Fransisco 49ers during the 2018 NFL Draft. A rangy talent, Warner has the motor and speed to be moved around the field into a hybrid linebacker safety role, but the ‘9ers seem content to have him man the middle linebacker position. Flying under the radar, Warner had an outstanding rookie season in 2018, finishing with 124 combined tackles, 6 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble.
This is a great card from Panini here. The colors are really spot on and it looks exciting! Unfortunately the autograph completely takes away from the card in this case. While I can make out the F—W— well sorta… it was pointed out to me that it looked like Fred had a stroke while signing this card. Just a terrible autograph.
Cards: Playoff 1999 (6279), Leaf Rookies & Stars 2004 Slideshow, Panini Classics 2016 NL, Panini Classics 2016 Legends*, Panini Contenders 2018, Panini Elite 2018, Atomic 2002. Acquired: In Person 2018, 43 and 34 Camp, Heisman House Tour See Also: Ricky Williams, Little Earl (2), Ricky Williams (3), Ricky Williams (4) * future considerations D-Rock
There is really no end to the plethora of cards I can find that I like for Ricky, so I just keep stacking them up- as long as he keeps signing of course. I’ve gotten Little Earl more times than any other player, and each time I meet him, each interaction is a unique experience. When I went to the 43 and 34 Camp, it was a blisteringly hot Texas day. After the event ended, people swarmed him as he slowly made his way to his car. He knew if he didn’t start that way at that moment, he’d be here all night. Still Ricky practiced an immense amount of patience, realizing perhaps that he was stuck, he just stopped at the entrance to the stadium and started signing. His gatekeeper tried in vain to get people to line up, and although there were cutters I waited to get up to him. It’s like the world goes silent and nobody is there. Ricky has that effect, or I do- I am not sure. He was like, “Hey man! Long time no see.” I told him that having a kid will do that to you.
Ricky has a new line of cannabis/ natural herb wellness products. I’m hoping to get some shipped to Texas to see if it can be of benefit to my father who suffers from lupus.
These cards are just flat out amazing. Every time I think I run out of cards, I find a few more that I really like. The Leaf 2004 Rookies & Stars Slideshow is translucent. The scan just doesn’t do it enough justice, but it is a well designed, exciting card. The Playoff 99 card is another gimmicky card. It’s translucent with the numbers in a velvet material.
Later I went to the Heisman House Tour that came to DKR before the Texas USC game. Knowing Ricky was there I packed quite a few cards for him to sign. The problem was they had a nasty gatekeeper. I got up to the stage and Ricky recognized me. We chatted for a few seconds while he signed a card. This woman came out from the door connected from the tent and shooed me away before I could get the rest. I just said to Ricky with a smile, “I’ll come back around again.” The line was not long at all for Ricky. The humidity or the weather prediction (of rain that never happened) kept people away. I got back in line, cruised back around, and got the rest of the cards signed.
We had a good and quick chat this time. I asked him if he’d have a touchdown dance now- since the league had lifted the restrictions on the rules. He initially told me no, but then re-thought it when I suggested Arian Foster’s ‘namaste pose’. I then quickly suggested that he go on Arian’s intriguing podcast as they both had really interesting philosophical ideals. He said he’d be interested and consider it, but he and Arian hadn’t talked in a while.
All in all again, some really nice cards I got signed at the Heisman House Tour. I really liked the NEXT LEVEL card the best- even if it is the same photograph from the Panini Elite card. The backside has him in a New Orleans Saints uniform, and could also be mistaken for the front as well if not for its lack of gloss on it. The Elite card is nice and flashy. I like where they have taken the design of this set over the years. Even the logo is a much needed improvement over the Donruss Elite logo. It’s a shield/chevron. That’s smart design.
The Classics 2016 card is for D-Rock on Sportscollectors.net. He had previously helped me out by sending me a Eugene Chung autograph I needed. What was touching about it was that he was reaching out to me because he hadn’t seen me on the boards in a while.
I had been stung badly by another collector on Sportscollectors.net who offered to get me some autographs and then pulled the rug out from under me as soon as I agreed. Anyway D-Rock’s kindness really struck me, so I offered to help him out when I had a chance. It took me a lot longer than I thought to get this autograph, but I can see why he wanted to get this one signed as the Classics card is not only a nice card, the autograph really sticks out on the canvas.
Quin Blanding played collegially for Virginia from 2014 to 2017. He contributed immediately to the secondary as a true Freshman and racked up impressive numbers. After setting Freshman tackle records with 123 in 2014, he went on to record 115+ tackles in every year he was at Virginia. Blanding finished his college career with 492 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 16 passes defended, 2 fumble recoveries, and 10 interceptions for 108 yards and a TD. Highly accoladed, Blanding earned the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Award (2014), Freshman All-American (2014), first-team all-conference honors (2015), and All-ACC Honors (2016, 2017).
So even though the numbers and accolades spoke for themselves, scouts soured on Blanding’s speed, and lack of ‘game-breaking’ presence. While this would not be a deal breaker in other drafts, the unusually high grade of defensive back talent continued through the 2018 Draft. I had him sneaking in at the back of round 6 or early in round 7 as a developmental prospect for the Houston Texans, but Quin would go undrafted. He’d sign a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins, but be waived in final cutdowns.
Quin’s autograph is pretty pedestrian- especially for a guy who has a ‘Q’ in it. It really looks more like a signature than an autograph really. The card itself is broken up well into 3 main sections: Player portrait, player stats, and player autograph. It’s a nice looking card, but I feel like the player portrait is a bit busy and overproduced.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.