Vincent Jackson’s pro career started back in 2005- when Drew Brees still played for the San Diego Chargers. A second round pick out of Northern Colorado, Jackson earned All-American honors as a punt returner and is the school’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, kick return yards, punt return yards, and receiving touchdowns. He grew slowly into the Chargers offense, but with maturation of Philip Rivers at quarterback, Vincent posted back to back 1,000 yard receiving seasons in 2008 and 2009- earning his first Pro Bowl trip in the latter year. After an injury shortened 2010, Vincent returned to form and the Pro Bowl in 2011.
A coveted free agent in 2012, Vincent opted to sign with the Buccaneers and continued his Pro Bowl form. He’d post career highs with 1,384 yards, a 19.2 yard average, and a 95 yard long (average and long catch led the NFL). Jackson posted 2 more 1,000+ yard seasons in both 2013 and 2014, wrapping up his career after the 2016 season.
A beautiful card here of Vincent Jackson from Donruss in the final year of the company before the label transitioned over to Panini. Gold Stars was a subset of cards I really liked and I loved the gold paint blotch where they affixed the autograph sticker to. A very nice touch. The two road stripes at the bottom pretty much gave us a roadmap per say into what the 2010 edition was going to look like.
Blake Sims was Alabama’s starting quarterback in 2014. Starting all 14 contests, he was 252 of 391 for 3,487 yards and 28 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He also ran 78 times for 350 yards and 7 TDs. Blake was not selected in the 2015 NFL Draft and teams tried to pigeonhole him in at another position other than quarterback. Sims headed north to the Canadian Football League. There he was on the roster of both the Argonauts and the Roughriders during the 2015 season.
Blake then took his skills to an unusual destination: Australia. He was going to play for the Wollongong Devils of the National Gridiron League- but the league never got off the ground in 2016, so he returned to the United States and signed with the Falcons and spent time on their practice squad before ultimately ending his season on the practice squad of the Bucs.
After he was waived by the Bucs, Sims eventually signed with the Alliance of American Football. He was assigned to the Birmingham Iron and then later re-selected by the team with their second round pick during the QB Draft. Unfortunately he’d be injured and subsequently waived by the team before taking a regular season snap.
A physical one on one defender, MJ Stewart saw action for the Tarheels as a True Freshman and worked his way up from there. A cornerback by trade, its thought that Stewart might be moved to safety at the pro level or work his way into the lineup by playing some nickelback. He finished his time at the school with 199 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 6 interceptions, 41 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles.
When the Bucs moved down during the 2018 NFL Draft, they were able to pick up a few additional draft choices from the Bills. They used one of those additional picks to select MJ during the second round (pick 53). Impressive from day one, Stewart worked his way into the starting lineup at corner and earned high praise from coaches during training camp.
MJ Stewart has a nice looking card here. The icy whites he’s wearing really add to the canvas nicely, and the light blue compliments the black, which in turn really stands out on the white.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.