Review of Last Chance U

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Last week a Netflix documentary mini-series hit the scene and it immediately started drawing plenty of buzz. That series was of course Last Chance U. Last Chance U documents one of the nation’s top junior college programs in the East Mississippi Community College Lions out of Scooba, Mississippi. This column may contain spoilers.

This documentary gave viewers a rare in depth look at the underappreciated junior college level of college football and a look inside in the minds of college football players. Junior college football has gotten a lot more publicity in recent years especially since 2010 when the Auburn Tigers used two junior college transfers to help them win a National Championship. Those players were of course Nick Fairley and Cam Newton. East Mississippi itself has released some big names in recent years including LeGarrette Blount of the New England Patriots, Jarran Reed of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Chad Kelly of Ole Miss.

This series does a very good of laying just what Juco is, which is a Last Chance as indicated in the title. EMCC is located in Scooba, which only has population of 716, and where the closest Wal-Mart is 45 minutes away, so the series does a good job of showing that these kids do not want to be here. Many players use Juco as a stepping-stone to a bigger school because the first school they attended didn’t work out or because of a mistake they made. The footage in this series, which is very raw, shows the players relaying repeatedly that they just want out. It also shows how some struggle with immaturity as they struggle to keep a 2.5 GPA as they miss class or don’t take it seriously.

Another instance you see is the arrival just before the season of John Franklin iii who transfers from Florida State after not receiving playing time. He struggles to break into the offense, as Wyatt Roberts is already an established player at EMCC and because EMCC is a passing team while Franklin focuses more on his legs. However, he soon gets his chance and scorches a team for 300 yards and 6 touchdowns in one half which gets him an offer from Auburn where he is now.

You also see a two team brawl that tests the players wants of a championship vs. doing what is right and helping teammates.

Overall this is a compelling series and a must watch for any football fan.

 

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