Last Chance U

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Last Chance U
The title styled in block lettering like a college sweater logo written above a player's back
Genre
Directed byGreg Whiteley, Adam Ridley, Luke Lorentzen
Music byYuri Tománek, Joseph Minadeo
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes40
Production
Producer(s)
  • Joe Labracio
  • Adam Leibowitz
  • Dawn Ostroff
  • Adam Ridley
  • Lucas Smith
  • James D. Stern
  • Greg Whiteley
Production location(s)
Running time52–76 minutes
Production company(s)Boardwalk Pictures,
DistributorNetflix
Release
Original releaseJuly 29, 2016 (2016-07-29) – July 28, 2020 (2020-07-28)
External links
Website

Last Chance U is an American documentary web television series that is produced and premiered by Netflix. The six-episode first season explores the football program at East Mississippi Community College, which features several collegiate athletes that have had trouble in their lives and struggled with finding structure. The players are then required to perform at the junior college (JUCO) level, under the stewardship of coach Buddy Stephens, in order to prove themselves and return to Division I.[1]

The series' second season returned to Mississippi,[2] but transitioned to Independence Community College in Kansas for the show's third season,[3] which premiered on July 21, 2018. This was followed by a return to Independence for the fourth season; it debuted on July 19, 2019.[4] The final season took place at Laney College in Oakland, California and premiered on July 28, 2020. In 2020, it was announced that a scripted drama based on the first two seasons would be produced by and starring Courteney Cox.[5]

Synopsis[edit]

The first two seasons focus on all aspects of the football program at East Mississippi Community College, one of the most successful JUCO programs in the country. Major themes include the academic struggles of the players - some of whom have come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds. This is set against an overall redemption and coming-of-age “last chance” theme for the group of men struggling to find their place. Team academic advisor Brittany Wagner is featured prominently as she is tasked with getting all team members to graduate on time. Head coach Buddy Stephens' struggles with controlling his temper is also a major theme, which is often juxtaposed with his devout Christian faith that he attempts to impart on the team.

Season 1[edit]

The crew followed the EMCC Lions during their 2015 season as they attempted to capture their fourth JUCO national title. While the team appeared dominant for much of the year, their season was derailed after a brawl broke out during their game with Mississippi Delta. EMCC was disqualified from the state playoffs and a potential berth to the national championship game.[6]

Ranking: NJCAA released prior to game.[7]

EMCC Lions 2015 season results
DateOpponentRankSiteResult
August 27Southwest MississippiNo. 1
W 69–20
September 3at No. 4 Copiah–LincolnNo. 1
L 24–31
September 10CoahomaNo. 7
W 69–0
September 17at Northeast MississippiNo. 7
W 56–7
September 26ItawambaNo. 6
W 48–24
October 1at Jones CountyNo. 7
W 49–7
October 8at HolmesNo. 6
W 44–28
October 15No. 4 Northwest MississippiNo. 8
W 49–16
October 22at Mississippi DeltaNo. 3
W 48–0

Season 2[edit]

Netflix returned to Scooba to follow their 2016 season. Once again holding national championship aspirations, the team faced a major hurdle in that only 32 of their players were eligible for their opening game with Jones County Junior College due to suspensions related to the previous season's brawl. EMCC lost that game, 27–25, their first season-opening loss since 2010.[8] The Lions would go on to win the rest of their games, but were left out of the national championship game when they finished the season ranked No. 3 in the polls.[9]

Ranking: NJCAA released prior to game.[10]

EMCC Lions 2016 season results
DateOpponentRankSiteResult
September 1at Jones CountyNo. 1
L 25–27
September 8at No. 17 Mississippi Gulf CoastNo. 12
W 45–7
September 15Northeast MississippiNo. 14
W 54–10
September 22at No. 15 ItawambaNo. 11
W 44–42
September 29Mississippi DeltaNo. 9
W 73–7
October 6at No. 16 HolmesNo. 5
W 63–49
October 15No. 1 Northwest MississippiNo. 4
W 51–32
October 20at CoahomaNo. 3
W 42–0
October 27HindsNo. 3
W 42–0
November 5Mississippi Gulf CoastNo. 3
W 27–24
November 12No. 4 Northwest MississippiNo. 3
W 38–30
December 4vs. No. 13 KilgoreNo. 3
W 27–17

Season 3[edit]

Despite being invited back to EMCC for a third season,[11] producers decided to move the show to Independence Community College of Kansas.[12] The new location is different in that ICC has historically had much lower expectations than EMCC; in 2016, it ended the season 5–4, its first winning season in ten years.[13] The ICC Pirates had a very successful recruiting campaign for the 2017 season, landing many acclaimed players who began at NCAA Division I schools.[14] Jeff Carpenter, the long-time Voice of the Indy Pirates delivers the back story of the team and the town of Independence, KS.

Ranking: NJCAA released prior to game.[15]

ICC Pirates 2017 season results
DateOpponentRankSiteResult
August 26No. 12 Iowa Western*No. 17
L 21–70
September 2at Fort Scott
W 30–16
September 9No. 3 Garden City
W 27–23
September 23at Iowa Central*No. 13
W 47–7
September 30at Dodge CityNo. 12
W 32–28
October 7Ellsworth*No. 7
W 44–38 3OT
October 15at HighlandNo. 6
W 9–6
October 28No. 16 HutchinsonNo. 6
W 24–19
November 4at No. 10 ButlerNo. 5
L 27–31
November 11CoffeyvilleNo. 9
W 27–22
December 4at No. 4 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M*No. 7
  • Red Robertson Field
  • Miami, OK (Midwest Bowl Classic)
W 30–20
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to the game

Season 4[edit]

The fourth season continues in Independence, where the team fails to live up to high preseason expectations, finishing 2–8. After the season, Coach Brown is forced to resign for insensitive remarks.[16]

Ranking: NJCAA released prior to game.[15]

ICC Pirates 2018 season results
DateOpponentRankSiteResult
August 23at Dodge CityNo. 6
W 38–20
September 1HutchinsonNo. 6
L 27–37
September 15No. 7 Garden CityNo. 13
L 21–28
September 22Fort Scott
L 0–33
October 6at No. 19 Butler
L 14–17
October 13at No. 3 Iowa Western*
L 21–44
October 20Coffeyville
L 16–21
October 27Iowa Central*
L 19–20
November 3at No. 19 Highland
L 21–24
November 10Ellsworth*
W 21–15 OT
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to the game

Season 5[edit]

The fifth season takes place in Oakland, California at Laney College alongside football head coach John Beam.

Laney Eagles 2019 season results
DateOpponentSiteResult
September 6Modesto*
L 20–33
September 14at American River*
L 10–15
September 20Feather River*
W 60–14
September 28at West Hills*
W 26–16
October 5at Butte*
L 7–24
October 18City College of San Francisco
W 13–10
October 26vs. College of San Mateo
L 14–29
November 2Santa Rosa
W 41–35
November 8Diablo Valley
W 39–0
November 16at Chabot
W 41–21
November 23Sierra*
L 14–21
  • *Non-conference game

Reception[edit]

The series was given a positive review by SB Nation's Jason Kirk, who summed it up as a "carefully crafted drama with personalities to care about."[18]

Featured staff[edit]

EMCC[edit]

  • Buddy Stephens (head coach)
  • Brittany Wagner (academic advisor)
  • Marcus Wood (offensive coordinator)
  • Davern Williams (defensive line coach)
  • Ed Holly (defensive coordinator, season 2)
  • Clint Trickett (quarterbacks coach)
  • Cade Wilkerson (running backs coach)

ICC[edit]

  • Jason Brown (head coach)
  • Jason Martin (defensive coordinator, secondary coach)
  • Kiyoshi Harris (offensive coordinator, offensive line coach)
  • Frank Diaz (quarterback coach)
  • Raechal Martin (head athletic trainer)
  • Tammy Geldenhuys (athletic director)
  • Latonya Pinkard (English teacher, associate professor)
  • Heather Mydosh (English teacher)
  • Daniel Barwick (president)
  • Jeff Carpenter (voice of the Pirates)

Laney[edit]

  • John Beam (head coach, athletic director)
  • Josh Ramos (defensive coordinator, assistant head coach)
  • Jeff Haagenson (offensive coordinator)
  • Kevin Evans (offensive line coach)
  • Bryan Coughlan (defensive line coach)
  • Rob Crowley (quarterback coach)
  • Adam Robinson (wide receivers coach)
  • Derrick Gardner (cornerbacks coach)
  • Rick Becker (trainer)

Players[edit]

2015 EMCC Lions players (season 1)
Player Position Transfer in Transfer out Notes
John Franklin III QB Florida State Auburn Franklin was officially added to the Auburn football roster in 2016 and played sparingly in his first season on The Plains, recording one passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns while backing up starter Sean White.[19] In August 2017, he transferred to Florida Atlantic University as a wide receiver.[20] After going undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, Franklin signed with the Chicago Bears as a defensive back.[21] He spent the 2018 season on the Bears' practice squad, and was finally waived in August 2019. In November, he was signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad and was promoted to the active roster a month later, making his NFL debut in a Week 17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.[22]
Wyatt Roberts QB Mississippi State On the show, Roberts mentions that if big offers don't come in, he's going to be content to move on to Mississippi State, where he would attend as a student and not walk-on to the football team.
True to his word, Roberts did not walk-on to Mississippi State.[23] However, after a quarterback transferred out of the team, Head Coach Dan Mullen approached Wyatt, who then walked-on to the team.[24]
Dacorius (D. J.) Law RB UAB Law was officially admitted to UAB after final clearance was provided on August 30, 2016. Struggling with academics and an injured knee, he did not play for UAB and left the team in May 2017.[25]
Allenzae Staggers WR Southern Miss Staggers joined the Southern Miss football team after the culmination of his Junior year at EMCC. In his first season with the Golden Eagles, he led the team in receiving yards with 1165, and added 7 touchdowns,[26][27] and was placed on the Biletnikoff Watch List[28] He also had a team record 292 receiving yards in a single game.[29] After the 2018 season Staggers was invited to the Washington Redskins' minicamp.[30] He was waived on August 27.
Ronald Ollie DT Nicholls State He played one year at Nicholls State and had 41 tackles, two sacks, and a touchdown. He then left, saying he wants to play at a higher level,[31] but returned in early 2018.[32] Ollie was invited to work out for the New Orleans Saints in preparation for the 2019 NFL season.[33] Although undrafted, Ollie was invited for the Oakland Raiders rookie minicamp and signed with the team shortly after.[34] He was cut during the pre-season.[35] He is currently on the roster for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.[22]
Marcel Andry DT Nicholls State Andry played 10 games in his first season with the Colonels and had 17 tackles.[36] Played all 12 Games in his senior season while starting one.[37] After running out of eligibility, Andry stayed at Nicholls State as a graduate assistant and later was promoted to defensive line coach.[38]
Gary McCrae LB Louisville

McCrae only appeared in two games at Louisville (against Charlotte and N.C. State), and did not register any stats. It wasn't much better for him in 2017, as he registered four tackles in limited playing time - most of it on special teams. He played two games in 2018 before injuring his shoulder against Indiana State, missing the rest of the season. He is listed as a grad student on Louisville's 2019 roster.[39]

James Davis OL UAB[40]
Isaiah Wright RB West Georgia

Signed by Auburn in 2016, but never attended.[41] Committed to West Georgia in 2017 and attended spring training but never played for them, and in August 2017 it was announced that he was leaving the team.[42][43] On September 13, 2017, Wright was charged with criminal homicide connected to a fatal stabbing in Tennessee in July.[44]

C. J. Reavis S Virginia Tech Marshall After finishing his college career at Marshall, Reavis signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent and made the team's active roster during the 2018 season.[45] He became the first player from the show to appear in an NFL game after his debut on December 2, 2018 against the Indianapolis Colts.[46]
2016 EMCC Lions players (season 2)
Player Position Transfer in Transfer out Notes
DeAndre Johnson QB Florida State Florida Atlantic After sitting out the 2017 season due to blood clots in his arm, Johnson competed with Oklahoma transfer Chris Robison for the starting quarterback position.[47] After not starting for FAU, Johnson transferred to Texas Southern in 2019.[48]
Isaiah Wright RB West Georgia Wright participated in spring football at WGU but left the school before the season began.[49] He was arrested for criminal homicide in September 2017.[50] On November 8, 2017. the charges were dismissed against his brother Camion, also featured on Last Chance U.[51] On August 8, 2018, Wright plead guilty to facilitation of aggravated robbery in exchange for having his criminal homicide charge dropped. He received credit for time served and was sentenced to five years of supervised probation.[52] During 2019, Wright joined the Alcoa Alloys of the Independent American Football League.[53]
Chauncey Rivers DL Georgia Mississippi State Rivers was redshirted for the 2017 season due to academic ineligibility.[54] During the 2018 season, Rivers had 2.5 sacks and 24 tackles for the Bulldogs.[55] After the 2019 season where he had 5.0 sacks and 40 tackles, Rivers was named to the 2019 All-SEC football team.[56] In April 2020, the Baltimore Ravens signed Rivers as an undrafted free agent.[57]
Dakota Allen LB Texas Tech Texas Tech Had a breakout junior season in 2017, with 92 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and six forced turnovers. Named All-Big 12 by Pro Football Focus and second-team All-Big 12 by coaches and media.[58] Allen was officially invited for the NFL Scouting Combine in 2019. He was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft and became the first player of the show to be picked in the NFL Draft.[59][60] He signed a contract with the Rams on June 7, 2019.[61] He was signed off the Rams' practice squad by the Oakland Raiders in September, and made his NFL debut the following month. However, he was waived by the end of the month, and returned to the Rams' practice squad again in November, leaving a second time to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars in December.[22]
Kamonte "Kam" Carter DL Penn State Pittsburgh Played sparingly at Pitt and in January 2018, announced he was transferring.[59] Ultimately transferred to Duquesne for the 2018 and 2019 season, where he made the All-NEC First Team both seasons.[62][63][64]
Tim Bonner DL Louisville Florida Atlantic
Vijay Miller QB Also played baseball at EMCC as a pitcher and was drafted in the 14th round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres.[65] After pitching for the Arizona League Padres for the summer, Miller returned to EMCC for the 2018 season.[66]
2017 ICC Pirates players (season 3)
Player Position Transfer in Transfer out Notes
Malik Henry QB Florida State Nevada[67] Henry failed to receive an offer from a Power Five conferences school, and was listed on the 2018 ICC football roster.[68] He announced in January 2019 that he would be walking-on at Nevada.[69] He started two games and then left the school.[70]
Rakeem Boyd RB Texas A&M Arkansas Rushed for 1,133 yards and 8 touchdowns.[71]
Kerry Buckmaster OL Ventura College Lindenwood Later transferred to West Texas A&M. Quit football in March 2019.[22]
Kingston Davis RB Michigan UAB Cut from the team following an arrest. Later transferred to Lane College.
Carlos Thompson WR Texas Tech Missouri Western Decided to forgo his Senior season and declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.[72]
Emmit Gooden DL Tennessee
Calvin Jackson WR Washington State[73]
Keith Williams OL Colorado State
Delrick Abrams DB Colorado[74]
2018 ICC Pirates players (season 4)
Player Position Transfer in Transfer out Notes
Jay Jones QB Georgia Tech N/A
Chase Hildreth QB Texas State
Markiese King WR Lamar King signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Lamar, but he withdrew from Independence before graduation, making him ineligible to play Division I college football.
Jermaine Johnson DL Georgia
Bobby Bruce S Manatee Neptunes A student reported $250 stolen from his dorm room. Bruce was seen on video entering the room with two other people and leaving with a full bag in his hand, he hadn't had with him while entering the room. Bruce was cut from the football team. Subsequently, signed to play arena football for the A-League's Manatee Neptunes. In February 2020, he was arrested for cocaine possession.[22]
Kailon Davis DL Arkansas State
Chance Main DL Incarnate Word
2019 Laney Eagles players (season 5)
Player Position Transfer in Transfer out Notes
Dior Walker-Scott WR Hawai'i Preferred walk-on
RJ Stern WR N/A Decommitted from Tusculum
Day'Marr Johnson WR Merritt
Nu’u Taugavau OL Murray State
Ryan Mackey QB
Kentrell Pierce DB Lincoln (PA)
Rejzohn Wright DB Oregon State
Keyshawn Ashford RB Foothill
Alex Gonsalves RB

Crew[edit]

  • Benjamin Cotner – executive producer
  • Edgar Doumerc – sound department
  • Joe Labracio – executive producer
  • Adam Leibowitz – producer
  • Lisa Nishimura – executive producer
  • Dawn Ostroff – executive producer
  • Adam Ridley – producer, director, editor
  • Jihan Robinson – executive producer
  • James D. Stern – executive producer
  • Lucas Smith – executive producer
  • Greg Whiteley – director, executive producer
  • Sam Young – sound department
  • Yuri Tománek – original music
  • Joseph Minadeo – original music

References[edit]

  1. ^ "See Trailer for Gut-Wrenching College Football Doc Last Chance U". Rolling Stone. July 5, 2016.
  2. ^ Evry, Max (August 15, 2016). "Last Chance U Season 2 gets greenlight from Netflix". CommingSoon.Net.
  3. ^ Holloway, Daniel (August 24, 2017). "'Last Chance U' Renewed by Netflix for Season 3". Variety.com. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Langmann, Brady (July 18, 2019). "Last Chance U Is Netflix's Look Inside the Twisted World of Junior College Football". Esquire. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 11, 2019). "Courteney Cox to Star in & Exec Produce Last Chance U Scripted Series in Works at Spectrum Originals; Michael Strahan to EP". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
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  70. ^ Murray, Chris (January 22, 2020). "Quarterback Malik Henry no longer enrolled at Nevada, leaves Wolf Pack program". Nevada Sports Net.
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  73. ^ "JUCO WR Calvin Jackson, Jr. commits to Washington State". Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  74. ^ "Delrick Abrams Jr. – 2018 Signing Class Roster – Colorado". cubuffs.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.

External links[edit]