Connor Davis hails from Stony Brook. At 6’7″, 275, the tight end towers over other defenders, but he played all over the place during his time with the Seawolves, playing defensive line, offensive tackle… and tight end. He bulked up and turned some heads at mini camps with the Giants, but did not make the squad. The Alliance of American Football liked his athletic skill set in tryouts and thought he’d make a great fit for the league, so Davis was signed by the Birmingham Iron. Connor played in two games, starting one, and had 3 catches for 9 yards on 5 targets- before he was injured and his season ended on IR.
Connor’s football journey continued as he was selected by the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL.
Cards: Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF 2019 Certified Acquired: 2019, EBay. 2019, TTM. IP 2020, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Bay Vipers Joint Practice Sent: 5/15 Received: 7/25 (71 days) Failure: TTM 2014 C/o The Kansas City Chiefs, TTM 2019, C/o The Atlanta Legends.
Aaron Murray played college ball at Georgia from 2009 to 2013 . A prolific passer, Murray threw for 13,166 yards and 121 TDs for the Bulldogs. Along the way he set numerous SEC passing records, and was the 2013 Capital One Bowl MVP. He parlayed his efforts into a 5th round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.
Aaron made the squad but didn’t see any significant playing time. He’d be cut in 2016 and then bounce around from the Cardinals practice squad to the Eagles practice squad, and then in 2017 briefly with the Rams.
After a brief hiatus, it was rumored that Aaron was planning to join the Alliance of American Football. He signed with the Atlanta Legends and then was subsequently protected by the team with the second overall pick of the 2018 Pick or Protect AAF Draft.
The Legends were a team in constant flux early in camp and into the season. Head Coach Brad Childress departed shortly into camp. Offensive Coordinator Mike Vick also was reassigned. The offensive playcaller- Rich Bartel- who took over as the OC departed after the 3rd game. Thankfully venerable Ken Zampese stepped in and filled the role through the dissolution of the league.
Murray was unseated as starter by Matt Simms going into the first contest against Orlando. He’d remain on the bench until the 4th contest of the season when the Legends played the Hotshots. With Simms ailing, and the Legends sitting at 0-3, Aaron came in and led Atlanta to a 14-11 victory. He’d go 20 of 33 for 254 yards and run 7 times for 54 yards in the upset. The following week, Murray was on fire, going 27/43 for 306 yards and a TD against the Express.
Murray was brought back down to Earth by the Commanders in Week 6, and a head injury in Week 7 against Orlando didn’t help matters much.
In the final contest against Birmingham, Aaron split QB duties with Simms starting the first half and Murray wrapping up the second half- to largely the same deflated results.
On a positive note, Aaron had the highest completion percentage in AAF history (64.8%) among qualified throwers. He’d also throw for 1048 yards 3 TDs, one 2 point conversion, and 7 picks.
I had been after Aaron since his days at Kansas City and while he was a pretty reliable signer there, I was one of the few that didn’t get anything. I tried again right after the AAF cards came out- which was almost a week before the league folded. Thankfully I did get everything RTSed from the team. Finally I decided to give him another shot via his home address. I was happy to get 1 of 2 signed by him- but I am still kicking the tires on picking up a Topps Now card of him from his win over Arizona.
Aaron later joined the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL for 2020. When the Vipers did their joint practice with the Roughnecks, I pulled two more AAF cards and decided to take a shot. I staked him out for the entire practice, and at the end, was able to get him, thanks to another fan who was able to get him over with a Georgia mini. Murray then signed these two cards for me a few seconds afterwards.
I really hustled hard for Daryl Johnston this time around. I had seen on a few sites that he was giving away his player issue version of his certified Topps AAF 2019 card- that I did not have, and along with the fact that he was GM of the Commanders, and it was super expensive on the secondary market, I really wanted to get my paws on that card. I wrote a solid 9 page letter talking about how our lives had intertwined over the last- 30 ish years or so. It was the longest letter I’d ever written to a player.
Daryl has been very good to the TTM community, and as a whole has been a gracious signer outside of those rare instances. Instead of flooding him with cards, I just sent this one Upper Deck College Legends card and asked him for the certified one, since I was a season ticket holder to the Commanders. I was very happy when he responded in no time flat and added the tag #Swords Up! giving the Commanders card a bit of personalization. It gave me a nice bounce in my step for the day.
I had high hopes that he’d pen an inspired response to me about his AAF experience, but the stories that I had read led me to believe that he was caught just as flat footed as the rest of us, even though he was fighting in the trenches everyday for the league. After his AAF experience, Daryl went on to join the XFL 2020 Dallas Renegades, and despite the boasted money behind it, the league folded only after 5 games due to COVID concerns.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.