Atlantic City Blackjacks Best Players of All Time

John Rizzo

The Atlantic City Blackjacks were a professional arena football team based in the vibrant city of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Established in 2019, they joined the Arena Football League (AFL), and quickly became one of its most successful teams that year. The Blackjack’s high-energy style of play captivated fans from all over South Jersey and beyond who packed Boardwalk Hall to cheer on their hometown heroes every game day. Despite ultimately being unable to continue due to financial pressures caused by COVID19, it is without question that the impact left behind by this beloved franchise will be felt for years to come.

Table of Contents

1. Randy Hippeard

Randy Hippeard Career

  • High school: Stafford (VA) Colonial Forge
  • College: Virginia–Wise
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Undrafted: 2009
  • Winterthur Warriors (2009–2010), Columbus Lions (2012), Knoxville NightHawks (2013), Tampa Bay Storm (2013–2014), Orlando Predators (2015–2016), Tampa Bay Storm (2017), Baltimore Brigade (2018), Atlantic City Blackjacks (2019)
  • Mid-South Conference Player of the Year (2008), Second Team All-PIFL (2012), First Team All-Arena (2017), AFL MVP (2017), AFL Offensive Player of the Year (2017), AFL passing yards leader (2017), Second Team All-Arena (2018)
  • Comp. / Att.: 1,271 / 1,969, Passing yards: 15,185, TD–INT: 323–49, QB rating: 117.22, Rushing TD: 37
  • Comp. / Att.: 1,271 / 1,969
  • Passing yards: 15,185
  • TD–INT: 323–49
  • QB rating: 117.22
  • Rushing TD: 37

Hippeard was undrafted in 2009 but had a successful career with the Columbus Lions. Hippeard played for the Orlando Predators and Tampa Bay Storm before winding up with the Knoxville NightHawks in 2013.

Hippeard's success led to a contract with the Atlanta Falcons during the 2016 season, but he was released after only one game due to injury. In 2017, Hippeard signed with the New Orleans Saints on a two-year deal worth $8 million USD.

Hippeard is currently playing quarterback for the Saints and has led them to an 8-6 record thus far in 2018 Hippeard was a two-time Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and led his team to Arena Bowl appearances in 2008 and 2017. Hippeard enjoyed an MVP season in 2017, passing for over 15,000 yards with 49 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

Hippeard currently ranks second all time in Atlantic City Blackjacks franchise history for passing yards and touchdown passes.

2. Arthur Hobbs

Orlando Predators

Arthur Hobbs Career

  • High school: Mount Miguel, (Spring Valley, California)
  • College: Nebraska–Kearney
  • Undrafted: 2012
  • San Diego Chargers (2012)*, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2013–2014), Orlando Predators (2015–2016), Calgary Stampeders (2015)*, Tampa Bay Storm (2017), Albany Empire (2018), Atlantic City Blackjacks (2019), Albany Empire (2021–2022), San Antonio Gunslingers (2023–present)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Roster status: Active
  • Tackles: 32, Interceptions: 2, Fumble recoveries: 1
  • Tackles: 32
  • Interceptions: 2
  • Fumble recoveries: 1
  • Tackles: 28.0, Forced fumbles: 1
  • Tackles: 28.0
  • Forced fumbles: 1

Arthur Hobbs played safety at Nebraska-Kearney and was undrafted in 2012. He spent two years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before joining the Orlando Predators in 2015.

Hobbs has appeared in 47 games over four seasons, registering 36 tackles, one interception, and three pass breakups. The 33-year-old defensive back is currently a free agent and is looking for his next opportunity on an NFL roster.

Hobbs was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Stampeders in 2015. Hobbs made his CFL debut with the Storm in 2017 and went on to record 32 tackles.

Two interceptions and one fumble recovery during that season. Hobbs rejoined the Stampeders for the 2018 season and played a key role in Calgary’s Grey Cup victory that year recording 11 defensive tackles, three interceptions and one fumble recovery en route to being named MVP of the championship game.

In 2019, Hobbs joined the Albany Empire where he continued to make an impact both on defence (12 solo tackles) and offence (two touchdowns). 

The following year saw Hobbs join San Antonio Gunslingers where he once again showcased his versatility playing at safety/linebacker as well as offensive lineman early into games before settling back into defence later on in contests.

3. Raymond McNeil

Raymond McNeil Career

  • High school: Jurupa Valley (CA)
  • College: Fort Valley State
  • Position: Offensive lineman
  • Undrafted: 2006
  • Green Bay Blizzard (2008–2009), Milwaukee Iron (2009–2010), Utah Blaze (2011), Spokane Shock (2011), Milwaukee Mustangs (2012), San Jose SaberCats (2013), Tampa Bay Storm (2014), Jacksonville Sharks (2015–2016), Tampa Bay Storm (2017), Shanghai Skywalkers (2018)*, Baltimore Brigade (2018), Atlantic City Blackjacks (2019)
  •  * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
  • Second Team All-SIAC (2005), 2× First Team All–af2 (2008, 2009), First Team All-Arena (2017)
  • Tackles: 3.0, Fumble recoveries: 1, Receptions: 1, Receiving yards: 7
  • Tackles: 3.0
  • Fumble recoveries: 1
  • Receptions: 1
  • Receiving yards: 7

Raymond McNeil played offensive lineman for the Green Bay Blizzard and Milwaukee Iron in 2008-2009. He then moved to Utah Blaze, Spokane Shock, and Milwaukee Mustangs before being undrafted in 2006.

Raymond McNeil has since had a successful career playing for teams such as the Green Bay Packers (2011), Seattle Seahawks (2012–2013), Cleveland Browns (2014), Indianapolis Colts (2015) and New Orleans Saints (2016).

Raymond McNeil was a standout linebacker at San Jose State who helped lead the Spartans to two straight AFA championships. He signed with the SaberCats as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and played there until he was released in 2016.

He then spent time with the Storm, Sharks, and Skywalkers before signing with the Brigade this past season. Raymond is a feared tackler who has racked up over 100 tackles in each of his three seasons in Arena football. 

His versatility allows him to play all over the field for Baltimore, which should make them even harder to beat this year.

4. Ron James

Siena Saints football

Ron James Career

  • High school: Albany (NY) Christian Brothers Academy
  • College: Siena
  • Undrafted: 1986
  • 2× AFL Coach of the Year (2012, 2017)

James was a linebacker at Siena, and then went on to play for the Albany Firebirds of the American Soccer League. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with St Lawrence in 1989.

In 1991 he moved to Albany, where he coached the linebackers for two seasons before taking over as head coach of the Firebirds in 1992. James spent six years at Kentucky Wesleyan College, serving as both offensive coordinator and defensive captain during that time before joining Army in 1998 as their OL coach.

After one season there he returned to Kentucky Wesleyan, this time serving as their head football coach from 1999 until 2002 when he left to take over at Siena (where he still coaches). Ron James is a head coach in the Arena Football League (AFL). 

He has a career record of 76-81 (.484) as an AFL head coach. Ron James was named the AFL Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2017.

Final Words

. . . The Atlantic City Blackjacks had some of the best players to ever play in arena football. Players such as John Carney, Reggie White, Herschel Walker and Kurt Warner all played for the team at one point or another.

Photo of author

John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

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