Cards: ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o Home
Sent: 9/21 Received: 10/27 (36 days)
A member of BYUs 1984 national championship team, Shawn Knight was drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft by the New Orleans Saints. Originally chosen by the Saints to be a gap filling nose tackle, Shawn’s size was ideal at 6-6 and 290. Unfortunately Knight was unlucky as he spent the majority of his tenure there on injured reserve. (In retrospect, this draft was an overall weak draft along the defensive line. Only Jerome Brown, Jerry Ball, and Henry Thomas from this draft received Pro Bowl nominations at that position.) In 1988 the Saints would turn around and trade him to the Broncos, where he spent one season, before heading over to Phoenix and Minnesota for 1989.
In 1991, he’d be drafted by the Sacramento Surge to play defensive line, and Shawn would contribute in the trenches notching 27 tackles and 2 sacks. He would be named to the All World team after the season, but chose to retire from professional football. Shawn has since gotten his Masters and has bec0me involved in medical sales after working in physical therapy for a few years. In 2008 Knight would be inducted into the BYU sports Hall of Fame. Below are his WLAF statistics.
G/Gs 10 Tac 27 Sac 2.0 Fum 3
Cards: Ultimate WLAF 91 Logo Card, Ultimate WLAF Team Card, ProSet WLAF 1991.
Acquired: In Person 1991, San Antonio Riders vs Birmingham Fire. TTM 2010 c/o Metis Sports Agency
Sent: 5/10 Received: 6/7 (27 days)
In the second year of the WLAF, a couple of companies decided to make cards. Pro Set initially did an introduction run in early 1991, and then came out with complete league cards later that year. Ultimate and Wild Card also soon followed with their own brands. I got the Pro Set WLAF cards and took them with me to the games. After the game against the Fire, I caught Tim Walton walking off of the field and asked him for his autograph. He got super excited (because he hadn’t seen his card before) and then told me that he had broken his hand during the game but said he’d still try to give it to me anyway. I said yes and wasn’t sure who was more excited at that point to get the autograph. It was an indelible memory and it has always stuck with me. Tim played inside LB in an aggressive 3-4 alignment for the Riders and was named WLAF AP first team in both 1991 and 1992.
His finest game probably came in a contest against the Montreal Machine in 1991, when he recorded two sacks and a forced fumble, in a 27-10 win.
Many years later when I found these cards I thought it would be cool to get his autograph again, and add the additional cards to the set. It took me a few weeks of web surfing to locate Tim, who was working at Metis Sports as an agent at the time. I sent him 3 cards and a letter basically reminiscing about what happened, and a copy of some photos I took of a game. A few weeks later I got the cards and a sticky note that said,” You guys are true fans! God bless! Tim Walton.”
G 20 Tac 105 Sac 9 Fum 3
Int 0 Yds 0 Avg -.- Td 0
Cards: Ultimate WLAF 1991, Proset World League 1991
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1992
Ricky Blake was an All-Pro WLAF Prospect when he made the jump from the San Antonio Riders to the Dallas Cowboys, after he ranked third in the WLAF with 554 yards.
A bruising fullback with deceptive speed, Blake was not drafted out of Alabama A&M. In fact, he opted to leave college and play in the CFL for Winnipeg. He then took a year off, but had already gotten the attention of head coach Mike Riley, who drafted him to play in San Antonio where he was the bell cow of the Riders offense. Surprisingly nimble for his size, clocking in at near 250- Blake was compared to big bodied Saints’ RB Craig ‘Ironhead’ Heyward.
After transitioning to the Cowboys, Ricky started out with a bang in ’91, then was injured after 2 games on a long run against Phoenix. He never played again for the Cowboys, sustaining a hip pointer much like the one that ended Bo Jackson’s career.
Blake however would return to play for the Fort Worth Arena league team in 1994, notching 12 yards on 4 carries and one tackle that year. Later then he was picked up by the Barcelona Dragons of the newly reconstituted NLFE in 1995, playing for one season, rushing for 398 yards on 98 carries before hanging up his cleats for good. It should be noted that it is commonly mistaken that Blake returned to the Riders in 1992, but by that point, Ivory Lee Brown had taken over for him in SA.
WLAF Games 10 Att 120 Yds 554 Avg 4.6 TD 5
Rec 16 Yds 107 Avg 6.7 Lg 24 Td 1