Tag Archives: panini contenders 2015

Williams, Trey

Cards: Panini Contenders 2015, Crown Royale 2015, Panini Prestige 2015, Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF 2019 NOW, Topps XFL 2020, Topps XFL 2020 Certified
Acquired: COMC, 2020. EBay, 2020. TTM C/o Home 2020
Sent: 11/12 Received: 11/21 (9 days)

Trey Williams hails from Texas A&M- a school full of rich history in producing runningbacks. While playing for the Aggies, he ran 204 time for 1343 yards and 18 TDs in 3 years (2012-2014). What was most impressive was his gaudy 6.6 yards per carry. He also caught 38 passes for 330 yards and a TD as well. Although he had a solid combine, Williams ultimately was not selected in the 2015 draft.

He’d sign with his hometown Houston Texans after the draft, then quickly join the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, the Patriots, the Dolphins, and finally the Colts- all before 2015 came to a close. After being cut by the Colts in mid-2016, Trey kept hustling. He signed with the Steelers early in 2017, then briefly joined the Argos in the CFL. In November of 2017, Williams signed with the Dallas Cowboys again where he’d be waived in final cuts during 2018.

I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to have highlight film that made preseason sportscenter.. such as scoring a TD on his first ever preseason carry from 20+ yards out, or returning a punt for a 64 yard TD with the Steelers- but somehow miss out on making the squad.

Trey opted to head to the new frontier of the Alliance of American Football in 2019. He’d be assigned to the San Antonio Commanders. After missing the first two weeks of the season for personal reasons, Trey played in the next 6 finishing with 40 carries for 205 yards and a TD. He’d also catch 9 passes for 71 yards and a TD as well.

An exciting sparkplug, Williams provided a change of pace to lead back Kenneth Farrow II in the Commanders backfield. An outside the tackles kind of guy, Williams is very good at dodging people in space. This makes him quite effective at screen passes and out in the flat. He quickly became my favorite player just behind Greg Ward Jr.

His finest moment in the AAF came in Week 7 against the formidable Salt Lake City Stallions. The Stallions had a very stubborn defense. After trading field position for most of the game and keeping it close, QB Marquise Williams dropped a screen pass out to Trey. He bobbed and weaved through the SLC defense 36 yards and then dove into the endzone for a TD. It was really incredible to watch!

After the AAF folded, Trey joined the XFL 2020, where he was the first player selected in the open portion of the draft by the Seattle Dragons. He’d be reunited with his coach from the Commanders, Mike Riley, and a bevvy of former teammates including Kenneth Farrow. He ran 34 times for 122 yards and a TD for the Dragons, and catch 8 passes for 44 yards and a TD- before the league folded after week 5.

I first missed out on an in person signing in Houston during 2019. I would’ve driven there just to get his autograph on a bunch of cards and meet him, but I had been to in person events frequently that year, and I did not wish to antagonize my wife. I also had the Topps AAF Now card I was worried about risking, so these just sat, and then I added a few more to the stack including the XFL card.

After a while I just decided to buy a few certified cards of Trey, thinking I’d call it a day, but a few months later my partner in crime, Mark, acted on an address I had long suspected of being Trey’s- and hit pay dirt. It took me a bit to get back to Trey. I miss the Commanders and the AAF a lot, but frankly, we all know it wouldn’t have made it probably through 2020 – because of the pandemic. (See the XFL 2020.) Still after being stuck in the mud the last few months on AAF/XFL send outs, I went back to it taking the risk that Trey would ink these cards. I would have preferred a different color than silver- but I can’t look this gift horse in the mouth.

Sherman, Richard

Cards: Panini Prestige 2015, Score 2017 Gold
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o The San Fransisco 49ers
Sent: 9/3 Received: 10/30 (57 days)

Richard Sherman when he arrived at Stanford was actually a WR. He in fact caught 81 passes for 1340 yards and 7 TDs over his Freshman and Sophomore campaigns in 2006 and 2007. He’d switch to CB during 2009 and start climbing the depth chart. Sherman posted 113 total tackles and 6 interceptions for 82 yards and a TD. Richard was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Richard again climbed the depth chart and started 10 games his rookie year. He was named to multiple rookie teams at the end of the season. Quickly establishing himself as one of the premier defensive backs in the league, he posted 8 interceptions and 24 pass deflections (league leader) in 2012- earning his first of three consecutive All-Pro Nominations, as a member of the Seahawks secondary, the feared ‘Legion of Boom’. 2013 saw him leading the NFL in interceptions with 8, as 2014 saw him earn his final nod as teams threw away from him with regularity and respect. Richard continued to see Pro Bowl nominations through the 2016 season.

As the Legion began breaking up, Richard saw free agency in 2018. It would come as a stunner to Seahawks fans as he joined the division rival San Fransisco 49ers. He returned to Pro Bowl form in 2019 as Sherman pulled down 3 interceptions for 65 yards and a TD, along with 31 pass deflections.

I wrote Richard sort of on a whim. I had this really nice Panini Contenders card, and I stumbled over the Score card as I was thinking about it. I took it as a sign and went for it, mailing to the 49ers facility. I was very lucky to see a response in a bit under 60 days.

Hilliard, Kenny

Card: Panini Contenders 2015
Acquired: 2020, COMC

Kenny Hilliard comes from strong football bloodlines, being the nephew of former LSU and Saints RB Dalton Hilliard. Kenny followed in the footsteps of Dalton to LSU, where he averaged a healthy 5.2 yards per carry over his four years there while scoring 27 TDs on 302 carries. He’d be selected in the 7th round of the 2015 draft, as the Texans were looking to shore up their RB committee.

Kenny spent most of the next two seasons honing his craft, on and off the franchise’s practice squad. He’d sign with the Redskins in mid 2017 and again be on Washington’s practice squad through 2018.

Afterwards Kenny joined the Alliance of American Football in 2018 as one of their first recognizable name pickups. He’d play for the Memphis Express during the AAF’s lone 8 game season in 2019- seeing action in only the final game rushing 4 times for 6 yards, including an 11 yard burst, while catching 2 passes for 7 yards.