Rutledge, Wondell (1983-2024)

Card: TNT AFL Talons 2014
Acquired: IP 2014, San Antonio Talons vs. New Orleans Voodoo


  • Lampasas’, Tx very own homegrown product, Wondell Rutledge played college ball at Toledo.
  • After playing for the Allen Wranglers, he joined the AFL in 2012, and saw stints with the Tampa Bay Storm, Orlando Predators, and the San Jose SabreCats over the next few years.
  • Well versed, Rutledge could handle playing DL, C, FB, and OL.
  • Played in 14 contests in 2014 for the San Antonio Talons.
  • Replaced Colton Jones at C after Jones went down with a season ending injury.
  • Signed with the Rio Grande Valley Sol of the X-League later that year, but ultimately ended up with the Duke City Gladiators of the CIF.
  • Afterwards, Wondell became an international ambassador of football, playing for the Qingdao Clippers of the China AFL.
  • In 2018, he returned stateside and played for the Bismarck Bucks, followed by a 2019 season with the Oklahoma City Aces.
  • From 2020-’23 he played for the West Texas Warbirds in Amarillo, Tx, winning his first championship in 2021.
  • Wyoming was his next stop in his indoor football journey in 2022.
  • Then he took his show to Columbus, GA where he helped the Lions win the league championship in 2023.


I walked up to Wondell on the field where he was chumming around with his friends. In an attempt to embarrass him with his card, I almost had it taken from me, as his mother went berserk when she saw it. As I explained to Wondell why I make these cards and how much I know it means to them as me, the card got passed further and further into the small crowd that had gathered. When she asked if she could keep it, Wondell explained to her, that he had plenty, since I gave him a stack of extras to keep. He excitedly signed my card and thanked me for my work. Later he friended me on Facebook where I continued to follow his exploits in football.


3/8/24- On the Columbus Lions’ Instagram feed it was announced with heavy hearts that Wondell had passed away. No cause of death was given. Wondell hoped to go into coaching after his football career ended using the depth of knowledge that he’d earned from his experiences around the world. He was just 41.