Tag Archives: topps aaf 2019 Now

Schult, Karter ‘Karter Sauce’

Card: Topps AAF NOW 2019
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home
Sent: 5/9 Received: 8/22 (105 days)
Pending: TTM 2020, C/o Work

Karter Schult was the darling of the Salt Lake City Stallions defense in the Alliance of American Football. The tweener defensive end/ linebacker paced the stubborn Stallion defense with 7 sacks, 25 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. He graces the cover of this Topps AAF Now card- the only one oddly enough the Stallions and Karter ever appeared in. For his 2 sack, 4 QB hit effort, Karter was named AAF Defensive Player of the Week. It should also be noted that this takedown of Zach Mettenberger ended his season.

 Schult is Northern Iowa’s all-time leader in tackles for loss and second in sacks as just a two year starter.  His final season there in 2016 was a tour de force, as he earned the Buck Buchanan Award as the best defensive FCS college football player. With a non-stop motor, Karter had 74 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, 1 pass deflection, 2 forced fumbles and a pick that year. 

He wasn’t selected in 2017, but spent time in camp with the Cleveland Browns where he had a very good preseason, with 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 4 games. He’d be inexplicably cut, and join the Spring League, recording 3 sacks in two contests, and then after his barn burner 2019 season with the Stallions, was in camp with the Vikings.

I was surprised that Karter was not selected by any XFL squads during the 2020 draft. I ever talked to some personnel on the Roughnecks, who told me that they wanted to select him, but were prevented to do so by the league’s main offices which really made me shake my head.

I contacted Karter through email, and he kindly offered to sign his card for me. It took a bit longer than expected because of COVID, but he did get it done. He liked the custom I did as well, and I was flattered he wanted one so after a few months, I got this out to him, but I’m still waiting for one to come back.

I’d say- outside of his adorable wife- I am one of his most ardent supporters, and I hope that he will get another shot and keep plugging away at his pro dreams.

Stockton, Justin

Cards: Topps AAF Certified 2019, Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF Now 2019, Topps AAF 2019 Red Parallel (58/99)
Acquired: EBay, 2020.
In Person 2019, San Antonio Commanders v Arizona Hotshots
TTM 2020, C/o Home
Sent: 8/31 Received: 9/8 (8 days)

After the Arizona Hotshots defeated the Commanders in that final game of the AAF, many of the Hotshots stayed behind to talk to family and sign a few autographs behind the visitors side of the field. Arena staff was eager to shepherd fans out of the stadium, but I managed to haul in quite a few Hotshots including Justin. At the time, I was still one of the few fans who had their actual trading cards, and Justin hadn’t seen his base AAF card yet. He thought it was pretty awesome.

Anticipating that players might not have their cards yet, I went ahead and gave Justin the extra copy of the card I had on me that evening. Justin’s certified card is one of the few that also features an action shot him from the preseason, and he also signed the card with a thin, black ink pen, as opposed to the standard blue medium tip.

Justin played from 2014-2017 for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Over 4 years he averaged a heathy 5.8 yards per carry, and finished with 1714 yards and 14 TDs on 294 carries. He also displayed a knack for catching the ball, recording 82 receptions for 872 yards and 10 TDs.

He would be allocated to the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football after going undrafted in the 2018 NFL draft. Stockton was part of a 3 headed monster rotation alongside Tim Cook and Jhurrell Pressley. Despite this- Stockton managed to finish 11th in the league rushing for the Hotshots top flight rushing attack, with 43 carries for 233 yards and a 45 yard TD. His 45 yard TD came at an opportune time as it sparked the Hotshots to a victory over the Memphis Express earlier in the season.

After camp with the Lions, Stockton joined the XFL 2020 as a member of the New York Guardians along with former teammate Tim Cook. Justin made it count oddly, mostly, in the last game of the season against Dallas, rushing 5 times for 41 yards, had a catch for 8 yards for two points, and blew by the Renegades return unit for a 58 yard kick return. With COVID already hitting the league, the XFL shut down after week 5.

Oddly Stockton was not included in the XFL set, however, I finally got a copy of his Topps NOW card. I have been chatting with his RB coach for a while, and after helping him out with some design work, he hooked me up with the Hotshots RB corps addresses so I could get them on a few cards. Justin not only signed his Topps Now card, but I also had a red parallel he signed as well, and included a nice note- that almost felt like he was punching up, cleverly telling me, “That he always likes to run hard in San Antonio!”

Gardner, Ja’Quan

Cards: Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF NOW 2.17.19, Topps AAF NOW 2.24.19, Topps AAF 2019 Certified
Acquired: TTM 2019 & 2020, C/o Home.
Sent: 8/8/19 Received: 8/26/19 (18 days)
Sent: 6/29/20 Received: 8/24/20 (56 days)

Ja’Quan Gardner played runningback for Humboldt State University from 2014 to 2017. While playing for the Lumberjacks he compiled some truly impressive numbers. During his Sophomore run, Gardner had 2266 rushing yards on 337 carries and 25 TDs. He finished his career for the Jacks with 880 carries, 5,495 yards, and 72 TDs, Ja’Quan was also a talented receiver out of the backfield managing 81 career receptions for 767 yards and 4 TDs.

Gardner, despite his numbers did not receive a call to attend the NFL combine or get drafted in 2018. A sparkplug- at 5’6″- teams probably shied from his size and small school stature. He received a tryout call for the San Fransisco 49ers- but after working out, didn’t hear back from them. Still Ja’Quan stayed in playing shape and waited for his chance.

Three months later he received the call from the 49ers, but he thought that his agent was joking with him. The 49ers though were aching at runningback with Matt Brieda, Jerick McKinnon, and Joe Williams all being bit by the injury bug entering the team’s final preseason contest. More of an insurance policy for the team than anything else, Gardner spent all of 3 days on the roster before being waived.

Ja’Quan was allocated to the San Diego Fleet of the AAF in 2019. Gardner came recommended by a Chargers scout to head coach Mike Martz, so despite not really knowing who he was, the coaching staff decided to take a stab at him. Runningbacks in Mike Martz’s systems tend to be do-it-all backs- and Gardner took the lead role.

During his debut against the San Antonio Commanders, Gardner rushed 8 times for 55 yards, but the Fleet were thankfully more interested in passing the ball- than rushing the ball. Ja’Quan was fast once he hit the hole. His size and gameplay speed were quite deceptive.

“He can change direction and he has good hands. He’s very patient and if the hole’s there — boom, he’s gone.”

– DAVE BOLLIER
SAN DIEGO FLEET

Ja’Quan came back the next weekend and ran all over the Atlanta Legends. He’d carry the load for the Fleet rushing for 104 yards and on 15 carries. His 2 rushing TDs were both scored in the 4th quarter and were the first of the season on the ground for the franchise. Gardner was also the second player in the history of the league to record a 100 yard effort- only behind Zac Stacy who had beaten him to the punch only by a few hours.

In Week 3, Gardner powered the Fleet to a dominating victory over their rival San Antonio Commanders in San Diego, 31-11. During the 3rd quarter, Ja’Quan took a hand-off up the middle and dashed a record 83 yards to pay dirt. He also finished with 122 yards on 12 carries, which also stood as a league record- and he became the first player in league history to rush for 100 yards in back to back games.

“His run reads are impeccable. He sees things so well.”
– MIKE MARTZ
HEAD COACH

Teams began to gameplan against Gardner, and with injuries slowly taking their toll, he didn’t see the same measure of success the rest of the season. Still Ja’Quan finished 8th in the league in rushing with 311 yards in 7 games. Gardner wanted to get a shot with another NFL team, so he needed to rehab a shoulder injury. Shortly before Week 8, he’d be placed on IR. -Soon thereafter the league folded.

I love me some runningbacks and Gardner, despite gashing my team for 122 yards, was one of my favorites. I have been collaborating with Mark from Mark’s Signing Bonus. I had seen the address for Gardner after internet snooping only a day or two before he messaged me to tell me that he had luck with Ja’Quan. I excitedly put together the Topps Now cards and his base and sent them out. He not only responded- Gardner wrote a touching note thanking me for being a fan and supporting him.

I thought Gardner would make a nice fit for the XFL- perhaps the Houston Roughnecks where they went full Run N Shoot, but alas the Seattle Dragons nabbed him, Kenneth Farrow, AND Trey Williams. Ja’Quan in 5 games finished with 35 carries for 127 yards and a 13 yard long before the league shut down due to COVID concerns after the 5th game.

Ja’Quan wrote me another nice note thanking me for being a fan and writing him again. I hope he returns to the XFL again and keeps chasing his football dreams.