Card: Topps Prime 2013
Acquired: 2016, Walmart Autographed Memorabilia
Tyler Wilson is a well-decorated quarterback who played collegiality for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Appearing in 37 games Wilson had 593 completions on 948 attempts, 7,765 yards, and 52 TDs to 26 interceptions. He set numerous passing records at the school during his tenure there, but scouts picked his game apart largely due in part to a lackluster Senior season. Still Tyler was selected in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
He’d go into camp competing against Terrell Pryor, Matt McGloin, and Matt Flynn- but be cut at the end of the preseason. The Raiders signed him to their practice squad, elevating him to the regular season roster later in the year. After being released, Tyler signed with the Tennessee Titans but was cut in August. A few days later he signed with the Cincinnati Bengals but was cut at the end of the month.
Wilson’s story is a cautionary one in the sense that if he had declared after his Junior season, he stood a good chance at being selected in the first round of the 2012 draft. As of 2018, he lives in Little Rock and is a real estate agent.
Card: Playoff Contenders 2007, Score 2008, Panini UT 2015
Acquired: 2016, EBay. IP 2018, GiGi’s Cupcakes Soft Grand Opening
See Also: Michael Griffin
After Michael’s 9th season in the NFL, in which he recorded 101 tackles, an interception, and a sack, he was released in the off season by the Tennessee Titans. With gas still left in the tank, Michael signed with the Minnesota Vikings for 2016. He’d be injured during the preseason and released. Rehabbing from his injury Griffin signed with the Carolina Panthers. He played in 10 games contributing 30 tackles. In 2017, Michael joined Longhorn Legends TJ Ford and Cory Redding in finishing his bachelor’s degree with Griffin’s being in youth and community services.
I’ve always liked the Playoff Contenders series, strictly because it follows a slow evolution rule, much like the Corvette. Every year, small tweaks in the design and look of the card. The 2007 entry was a nice set, but I really disliked the tiny Titans pinstripe type. It says baseball, not football with that typeface. It’s also just dangling out there distracting from the image of the player. It does not pass the thumb test. Basically if you put your thumb to the image over the Titans pinstripe the image looks better without the pinstripe. Still it was a pretty solid card and the certified autograph works well on this canvas.
Fellow Longhorn and Titan alum, Brian Orapko and Griff had been teasing the grand opening of their cupcake restaurant GiGi’s in Bee Cave. After I heard they had a soft opening for their social media fans the previous day, I made the trip from East of Austin all the way to Bee Cave through the freezing rain. It paid off as both Brian and Orapko were there as well as Jamaal Charles (special random guest appearance)! Michael was kind enough to pen the Panini 2015 UT card as well as his Score 2008 card. The cupcakes were also really good too!
Card: Sage 2008
Acquired: 2016, Target Autographed Memorabilia
Marcus Howard played at Georgia as a linebacker and defensive end. The tweener had his best year as a Senior, with 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 41 tackles. He saved his best game for last, earning Sugar Bowl MVP Honors in 2008, with 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble that he scored on, during the Bulldogs 41-10 thrashing of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Howard was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He played in 9 games and finished his rookie year with 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. With a new head coach in Jim Caldwell for 2009, the team decided to go in another direction with the defense. Marcus was cut but found a home with the Tennessee Titans in 2010- a team he spent the season on an off the roster for.
In 2011, Marcus signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL where he finally was able to see significant playing time on the field. During his rookie season in the league he posted 11 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He played for the Eskimos through 2017 and has 36 career sacks and 5 forced fumbles.