Card: Playoff Contenders 2005
Acquired: 2017, C/o EBay
Jerome Mathis was a phenomenal track man while he was at Hampton. He took it to the gridiron too, setting the NCAA record with a gaudy 26.6 career kick return average and 6 TDs. During the combine, Mathis created quite a buzz posting the second best 40 time in history at 4.26. Still he waited to hear his named called until the 4th round of the 2005 draft, because he was considered just a return man from a small school.
The Texans are a very patient team and felt they could wait for Mathis to mature as a receiver. His speed was proven and he could be used on kick and punt returns at least. Mathis took the league by storm his rookie year. He posted 54 kick returns for 1542 yards (28.6 yard average) and 2 touchdowns, including a 99 yarder. His strong rookie campaign earned him Pro Bowl and special teams player of the year honors. During the Pro Bowl he fractured his foot, but it went undetected, forcing him to miss nearly the entire next season on IR. He came back to the squad for 2007 but after 3 games lost his entire year to injured reserve. He still managed to post 11 returns for 320 yards and a 84 yard TD.
Mathis was in a contract year with the Texans in 2007, and as a restricted free agent in 2008 the Texans had first right of refusal or tender. Late in 2007 he had a run in with the law- but whether or not that had anything to do with it, Houston cut him outright 9 days after being charged with a misdemeanor. He signed with the Redskins but was cut a few months later.
In 2009 he joined the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and was on and off their roster for the season. He spent 2010 briefly with the UFL Hartford Colonials, before playing one final glorious year in the Arena Football League for the Pittsburgh Power. There he set a variety of Power records, retiring after the 2011 season.
NFL 17 Rec 6 Yds 80 Avg 13.3 Td 1 Lg 34t
KR 72 Yds 2154 Avg 28.5 Td 3 Lg 99t
PR 12 Yds 68 Avg 5.7 Td 0 Lg 19
Arena Rec 30 Yds 418 Avg Td 7 Lg 46t
Ret 31 Yds 688 Avg Td 1 Lg 49t
Cards: Playoff Contenders 2005, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2005 Longevity
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o UCLA
Sent: 8/29 Received: 9/17 (18 days)
I remember DeShaun Foster playing for UCLA back in I think it was 1998. The University of Texas was beginning to feel its oats again, and big things were expected out of the Longhorns that year. UCLA was the home opener- and well, Foster and the Bruins blew the doors off of UT. Over his 4 years in LA, DeShaun rushed 696 times for 3087 yards and 39 TDs.
He’d be selected in the 2nd round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, but be injured during the preseason. He’d return in 2003 and be paired up in the backfield with former Redskin Stephen Davis. Davis was more of a straight ahead between the tackles back, while Foster was a slasher with good speed. It wouldn’t be until 2005 that Foster surpassed Davis in the lineup as the primary starter. Over the next 3 seasons, he’d post almost 3 identical seasons hovering between 875-900 yards rushing. He’d sign with the San Fransisco 49ers where he played a final season in 2008. Afterwards he had a tryout with the Rams but did not make the squad and opted to retire.
Foster went into coaching first as a volunteer assistant at UCLA in 2013, and then later in 2016 as the RB coach at Texas Tech. He rejoined UCLA in the same capacity in 2017, where he kindly signed these 2 cards of his in less than a month’s time.
G/Gs 79/42 Rush 927 Yds 3570 Avg 3.9 Td 11 Lg 71t
Rec 142 Yds 1129 Avg 8.0 Td 5 Lg 47
Card: Playoff Contenders 2005
Acquired: 5/11/12, Target Autograph Memorabilia
See Also: Moats, Ryan
Really nice card and presentation by Playoff here on the Moats card. I wasn’t too impressed with their last entry of his, but this one really is framed well and also has a great look and design too. The Contenders cards really had an original look to them, and practiced really concise, proper typography. It’s clean and for the most part, very easy to read.
Ryan Moats was drafted by the Eagles, in 2005 but stacked at runningback he didn’t see much playing time initially behind encumbant Brian Westbrook. Although he’d see limited playing time in 2006, an injury forced him completely out of the 2007 season. Unable to crack the lineup by 2008, Ryan was released in final cuts. Moats signed and was cut by the Cardinals to their practice squad.
He’d go onto greater glory playing for the Texans, who at the time were having a difficult time at runningback with injuries to Steve Slaton and Ahman Green, and fumbles limiting Chris Brown‘s effectiveness. The team turned to Moats, and he responded leading the charge at runningback splitting time with Slaton and Brown throughout 2009 season until the emergence of Arian Foster. He’d be cut during 2010 and find a home with the Vikings.
In 2011, the UFL announced their ‘protected player list’- (which amounts to a supplemental draft of veterans from the NFL who were cut from squads that the clubs want). Moats was among the names selected by the Omaha Nighthawks, but Ryan elected not to play in the young league.