Card: Topps 1978
Acquired: In Person 1993, South Austin Card Convention
Preston Pearson was considered ahead of his time. One of the first 3rd down scatback specialists, Pearson was originally a 12th round choice of the Baltimore Colts back in 1967. What is more amazing is that he was drafted based on his athletic skill, since he never played a down of college football at the University of Illinois. Preston would play through 1969 with the Colts primarily as a kick returner. In 1968 he’d return 15 kicks for 527 yards and 2 touchdowns and his 35.1 yard return average for the season is 6th all time. Preston before departing from Baltimore would play in Super Bowl III when the Colts lost to the Jets.
In 1970, Preston would sign with the Steelers. During his tenure he’d see a career high in rushing with 605 yards rushing in 1972 and 4 touchdowns in 1974. He’d appear in SuperBowl IX with the Steelers, before signing with the Dallas Cowboys and appeared in Super Bowl XII and XIII. Over the latter half of his career the Cowboys would utilize Pearson in more of the 3rd down back role. He’d lodge career highs in receptions (47) and yards receiving (535) during his tenure with Dallas retiring after the 1980 season, finishing his career with 9841 yards from scrimmage. Among his more odd accomplishments is the fact he played for Don Shula, Tom Landry and Chuck Noll. Preston is the president of Pro-Style Associates.
G/Gp 176/N/a Rush 941 Yds 3609 Avg 3.8 Td 13 Lg 53 |
Rec 254 Yds 3095 Avg 12.2 Td 17 Lg 61
KR 114 Yds 2801 Avg 24.6 Td 2 Lg 102
Card: Action Packed Rookies 1991
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1996
Near the waning days of my first autograph collecting stint, (which could be directly attributable to a horrid relationship I began in a different story all together for a ‘my diary posting’,) I got wind that Ricky Ervins was signed by the Los Angeles Raiders who needed depth at running back to get through training camp because of injuries to many of their key players in 1996. I’d get him along with a few other players that year, but this would be my final time at Cowboys Training Camp at St. Edwards in Austin. It was a good, long run which yielded a slew of SuperBowl talent and interesting stories, but the Cowboys were leaving Austin and the Oilers had already packed Bud’s moneybags for backroom promises in Tennessee. I’d effectively tune out of the sport after 1997- not even watching it again until 2000.
Ricky Ervins from Pasadena, Ca is considered a USC legend- (holding many records that Reggie Bush would later break) for the squad and is most remembered for his 1990 campaign in which he won the Rose Bowl MVP honors. Despite his credentials, Ricky had to wait until the 3rd round of the 1991 draft to hear his named called- by the Washington Redskins. You see, Ervins is another case of a player before his time. At 5-7 , 200, Ervins was considered undersized for a tailback, but in this day and age Ricky would fit right in with most West Coast offenses and their 3rd down, ‘scatback’ roles. The Redskins immediately put him to work along side Earnest Byner and the electric duo would help the Redskins make other teams respect the run. In his rookie season, Ervins scampered for 680 yards (leading all NFC rookies), a 4.7 per carry average (leading all rookies), a 65 yard long jolt for a touchdown, and win SuperBowl XXVI. (Ricky would be the leading rusher of the game with 72 yards.) He’d rarely see starting time but rather was brought in for a fresh set of legs and a change of pace. Ricky also was a formidable receiver out of the backfield making 32 catches in 1992 and start a career high 10 games en route to 51 more receptions in 1994. He’d be signed by the San Fransisco 49ers in 1995, and inexplicably for no reason, got lost in the backfield shuffle and be out of a job at the end of the season. The Oakland Raiders came calling in 1996, where Ricky flew down to be in camp with the team in Austin for training camp. Unfortunately he wouldn’t make the final roster and retired. Since football, Ricky has opened a successful high school athletic prep academy called Xtreme Xplosion (http://www.xtremexplosion.net/) in Northern Virginia.
G/Gs 76/11 Att 554 Yds 2114 Avg 3.8 TD 8 Lg 65T |
Rec 117 Yds 870 Avg 7.4 Td 2 lg 28