The statistics speak for themselves: Two games, 268 total yards and five touchdowns. Indeed, in way more than surname, Detroit Lions do-it-all running back Jahvid Best is, ahem, the best rookie of 2010 so far – by far.
He’s off to a roaring start in the NFL with consecutive scintillating performances in narrow losses to the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles. If the former Cal Bear burner keeps this up, he’ll have Offensive Rookie of the Year honors wrapped up by Week 6; heck, at this pace, he’ll have MVP honors all but clinched by then, too.
In two short weeks, Best has separated himself from 2010 rookie classmates such as C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow on the field; as a result, he’s also swiftly catching up with them in the hobby.
In this exclusive interview, Best discusses his collecting cousins, seeing himself on a football card for the first time and just what he thinks about what Ndamukong Suh thinks about him.
What does having your own NFL trading card mean to you?
“It means a lot. It definitely means that somewhere some fans care about me and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s who I’m playing for; so it means a lot to me.”
What was your reaction the first time you saw yourself on a trading card?
“Actually, my cousin sent me a picture of it and he had a little collection of three cards that he had already bought. It definitely touched me in a special place knowing that I’ve got my family members collecting them.”
Was having your own card something you ever thought about growing up?
“Not really because my dad never collected. We were never big collectors so I never really knew about it or knew how it worked.”
Do you plan on collecting your own cards now?
“I still don’t think I’ll try to collect my cards. If I see it I’ll definitely pass it to one of my cousins, though.”
If you could collect only one 2010 rookie other than yourself, who would you collect?
“Eric Berry. I think he’s going to be one of the best safeties to play the game.”
I asked your teammate, Ndamukong Suh, the same question and he said he’d collect you. What do you think about that?
“That’s an honor.”
How would you characterize your autograph?
“I’d say it’s . . . I try to make it fast.”
What is it like to be asked for an autograph?
“It’s definitely a good feeling. It’s kind of like a dream come true because I remember when I was a little kid I used to see college players, even high school players sometimes, being asked and they would actually sit and talk for a little bit. Now I’m in the position where I can do that to somebody else, so it’s a lot fun. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but for the most part it’s fun.”
If you could appear on a trading card with any athlete – any sport, dead or alive – who would it be?
“I’d have to say Charles Woodson. He was my favorite player growing up.”
Tell collectors why they should collect your Rookie Cards in 2010.
“Well, my goal is to be Rookie of the Year. If that happens, mine are definitely good cards to be holding.”
Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.