An electric player while at Nebraska, De’Mornay Pierson-El, played for the Cornhuskers from 2014-2017. Over that period the team tried hard to get the ball into his hands any way possible, whether it was rushing, receiving or punt returning. In 2014 he returned 3 punts for touchdowns, on 34 returns (596 yards), and in 2017 he had a career high 623 yards receiving on 45 catches (5 TDs).
After the 2018 NFL Draft, Pierson-El was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins. He then joined the Montreal Allouetttes briefly the next month, before finally landing on the squad of the AAF Salt Lake City Stallions. De’Mornay had a solid year for the Stallions leading the way for the wide receivers with 36 catches for 414 yards, a 2 point conversion, and a TD. (That TD marked the first score of the season at home for the Stallions.) His best game came against the San Diego Fleet, where Pierson-el posted 9 catches for 130 yards.
De’Mornay signed with the Raiders after the league fell apart. Following waiver wire reports like a hawk, I sent this to him immediately after he signed with the Raiders. He has been on and off the squad, which discouraged me from ever seeing this again, In fact Pierson-El was drafted by the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL 2020, but before he joined the team, he resigned with the Raiders again. It was at that point I guess he decided to pen this card and I received this one back only after a scant 240 days.
Before Kayaune joined the Kentucky Wildcats in 2016, he saw valuable playing time at Phoenix College (JC). Over his two years with the Wildcats, Ross caught 21 passes for 296 yards and a TD. A track man, NFL teams were intrigued by Ross’ speed and he spent some time on the preseason rosters of the Bengals, Seahawks, Colts, and up north with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Kayaune joined the AAF in 2019 and was assigned to the Memphis Express. The team or league was confident in his star power and made jerseys of him before the season, but after the week 2 contest against the Hotshots, he had just one catch for 7 yards on the season. Coach Singletary, attempting to churn the roster to bring some life to the WR corps, Kayaune was cut from the Express, ending his AAF stay after 2 games.
Card: Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: IP 2020, Houston Roughnecks / Tampa Bay Vipers Joint Practice See Also: Reggie Northrup II
After the AAF folded, Reggie’s football dreams did not end. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Vipers during the XFL 2020 draft.
When I heard that the Vipers and Roughnecks were doing a joint practice, Reggie was one of the top players I was after. I wasn’t sure if he’d be a viable TTM candidate due to his pending litigation against the former AAF. I thought perhaps he might have sour grapes over even signing autographs- so in person was the way to go.
Reggie stayed after the joint practice to work the kids clinic. I loved his energy, how he smiled, and had fun with all the kids. He made them each feel special. It so moved me that it made me wish that these sort of initiatives existed when I was a child, and that my father had taken me to one.
After the clinic ended Reggie and a few other players retrieved their backpacks and equipment that they had left stashed by the visitor’s wall. I caught him on the way out, and he beamed when I asked him for his autograph on his AAF card. He excitedly pointed out to his teammates that I had his card, and then when I asked him if he knew where Obum Gwacham was, he flagged him down for me! Then Reggie jokingly leaned in and said, “I didn’t even know he played for the Hotshots.” It was a great experience, and we wished each other the best and that the AAF didn’t need to end the way it did.
Reggie was on and off the roster of the Tampa Bay Vipers throughout the short 5 week season. His litigation against the former AAF is still pending.
With how things have happened since then with COVID, which occurred a month or two after this event, it seems so long ago now how I was able to go to public events like this and get autographs.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.