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Coming Soon: Panini America to Produce Danny Woodhead’s First NFL Rookie Card

January 20, 2011

Danny Woodhead’s seemingly out-of-nowhere transformation from practice-squad everyman to do-it-all New England Patriots running back has carried with it many fringe benefits, chief among them cult-hero status in Boston, sudden NFL stardom and, undoubtedly, the undying adoration of swooning female fans everywhere.

One perk Woodhead hasn’t enjoyed during his meteoric ascension: Appearing on an NFL Rookie Card. That will change in a big way early next month when Panini America releases 2010 Playoff Contenders Football.

The company’s flagship football set will include Woodhead’s history-making first Rookie Card, at long last offering Pats fans and card collectors everywhere a fitting tribute to the diminutive-but-dynamic performer from tiny Chadron State.

“Like most NFL fans across the country, we were captivated by Woodhead’s buzz-generating performances in 2010 and his emergence as a huge fan favorite in New England,” says Jason Howarth, Panini America’s Vice President of Marketing. “We decided early in the season that he was a must-have inclusion in one of our late-season products. We’re confident that Patriots fans and football collectors will find his first official Rookie Card to be must-have material, too.”

The wondrous Woodhead rushed for 7,962 yards at Chadron State and earned consecutive Harlon Hill Trophies as the best player in Division II. He signed with the New York Jets in 2008 as an undrafted free agent but missed all of that season with an injury suffered in training camp.

He began 2009 on the Jets’ practice squad, joined the active roster in mid-October and finished the season with 24 total touches, 167 all-purpose yards . . . and still cloaked in relative obscurity. Of course, then the 2010 season arrives.

It begins with Woodhead stealing scenes on HBO‘s “Hard Knocks” while fighting for a spot on the Jets’ active roster. He makes the team, plays in Week 1 and then gets cut by Rex Ryan the next day. Four days later, Bill Belichick comes calling and the rest is, well, utterly captivating.

All Woodhead did in 14 games with the Patriots was live a true-to-life football fairytale for a Patriots team that finished 14-2. He rushed for 547 yards and five touchdowns, caught passes for 379 more yards and another score, and captured the hearts and imaginations of countless fans along the way.

But the stat Woodhead is likely to remember most from this season? 1: The total, at long last, of his NFL Rookie Cards.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 12:38 am

    at what point does etopps count/not count?

    • January 21, 2011 12:50 am

      Depends on who you ask, I guess. I suppose it might be more accurate to say first “Rookie Card.”

      • January 21, 2011 12:52 am

        also just noticed: Woodhead was a Jet on Sept. 12, 2010.

      • January 21, 2011 12:55 am

        Good point there. I’ll have to check, but I’m assuming the date listed on the base Contenders cards is the Week 1 date for each team.

  2. WhenIsaySEA! permalink
    January 21, 2011 3:10 am

    Wow, hard to follow that, but on a lighter note, will there be an auto’d version? I’m sure people could appreciate that. 🙂

  3. Alex permalink
    January 21, 2011 7:20 am

    His first cards were with sage and aspire in 08 and both were autos

  4. January 21, 2011 10:28 am

    Gots to get it. Thanks for the preview.

  5. Kevin permalink
    January 21, 2011 11:23 am

    That is such a great picture, it really captures the hustle and head down power of Mr Woodhead.

  6. Fredrik permalink
    January 23, 2011 11:50 am

    Not really surpriced that it was New England of all teams who gave this collage stand-out a chance, giving Panini the chance to produce cards of him. Good for you!


  1. Pats Danny Woodhead getting first NFL rookie card | Ben Maller

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