Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Certified, Topps AAF, Sage 2017 Acquired: 2019, Ebay. 2020, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Vipers Joint Practice
Tarean Folston was a runningback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from 2014-2017. Over his 4 years he ran for 1,712 yards on 343 carries, scoring 11 TDs. Although seldom called upon, he caught 31 passes for 294 yards and a TD. He was not selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, but stayed in playing shape.
Keeping his dream alive, Folston joined the fledgling Alliance of American Football. He’d be assigned to the Atlanta Legends. The Legends were a snakebitten franchise when it came to their coaching staff, but Folston remained a constant in the backfield for Atlanta. He’d finish as the franchise’s leading rusher with 223 yards on 53 carries, scoring a TD. Tarean also showed some vision and hands catching 26 passes for 163 yards and 2 TDs.
After the league folded, Tarean joined the Tampa Bay Vipers of the new XFL in 2020. I attended the open practice between the two teams, and was fortunate enough to get Folston’s autograph on these 2 cards of his. Folston had switched numbers with another player, but recognizing De’Veon Smith, he called Folston over for me- because they loved the fact I was a true fan of the AAF. Tarean still has his trademark dreds, that he told me took 5 years to grow out to such magnificence.
I was lucky enough to watch most of the last half of the AAF season on their app, before they shuddered it in early 2020. I always had a soft spot for the Legends, and studied the team’s offensive woes, but was shocked to see Tarean back there pounding the rock out with authority for Atlanta like a poor man’s Joseph Addai. He quickly became my favorite player on the team.
Adam’s autograph opens up around the top 10 worst autographs I’ve gotten over the years. The additional problem is that this is not a very exciting looking card. He’s just standing there in front of empty bleachers. If initials can look rushed, to a point of not caring, this is pretty close to it.
A four year starter at Pitt from 2014-2017, Adam Bisnowaty played left tackle for the Panthers. A fine specimen at 6’6″, 304, he was considered one of the top 20 or so tackles entering the 2017 selection class, but his status in the draft was punched down, due to injuries, even with a pretty good combine showing.
The Giants needing lots of line help traded up with the Titans during the 6th round, giving Tennessee a 6th and 7th round pick to select Adam. He’d be cut at the end of camp after losing out in a battle for the backup job with Chad Wheeler, and then be resigned to the practice squad. Following were a successive list of waiver claims by interested teams taking a stab at Bisnowaty: First Detroit and then Carolina both took a look at him for about a month in mid-2018. Then in October of that year the Vikings picked him up, who held onto him until the following year. He’d sign with the Redskins in 2019 and then later the Broncos before Adam was selected by the Dallas Renegades of the XFL 2020- but did not make the squad.
A 3rd round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2017, Carlos Henderson shot up the boards as a one year superstar for Louisiana Tech. He dominated Conference USA as the Offensive and Special Teams player of the year in 2016 and although NFL teams wished Carlos had stayed in college for his final year to get more polish on his game, they were more than willing to gamble a 3rd or 4th round pick on the young Bulldog.
Things just spun out of control for Carlos from there. After going AWOL, getting arrested, and getting a suspension for a banned substance, Carlos was cut and ended up being placed on the practice squad. The team felt that he had all the tools necessary to take his game to the next level but intimated that Carlos needed to grow and mature. He’d be cut before the 2018 NFL regular season and is currently a free agent.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.