I just finished up season 3 of “Last Chance U”. They did the right thing, changing which school they highlighted, and I have to say, it is still totally worth a watch. Now, I will say, it definitely helps to be a football fan, but it’s not completely necessary. There are human stories outside of the sport that are told this season. They get into anxiety, pressures of being high profiled athletes, depression, anger, struggles growing up and academic problems, just to name a few things outside of football. But, football is the primary source material, as it was in the first 2 seasons. It was no secret that I personally soured on East Mississippi Community College, and mainly their coach, Buddy Stephens. That dude is a piece of work. I felt like 2 seasons there was plenty.
In the third season they chose Independence Community College in Kansas. ICC was notorious for how bad they were. Up until 2 years ago, they had not won a game in almost three full seasons. Not only had they not won, they were the worst team in their conference. They were the team that everyone else beat, and beat bad.
Two years ago ICC went out and hired a guy named Jason Brown. This dude is wild. He is a white dude that was raised in Compton. He grew up tough, and he acts tough. He is a no nonsense, take no prisoners type of guy. He’s big, loud and knows he’s in charge. He also has a reputation of turning programs around. He did it for a few high schools in California. He then became a coordinator for some JUCO’s in Long Beach. He also became a notorious hot head, and could never keep a job for more than one year. But, he has managed to stick around at ICC. The people of the town like him, and he has turned that team around. In his first season they had a .500 record. This past season, they won the conference for the first time since 1987, and won their first bowl game ever.
The recent success ICC has as much to do with the players as it does with Jason Brown. There was a new rule that was also introduced where any team in the Jayhawk Conference could recruit as many players as they want from any state. That is Brown’s specialty. That dude can recruit. He signed 30 plus players, a bunch of which were former 4 and 5 star recruits. He got this kid Malik Henry who was the top QB in his class and was dismissed from Florida State. He had 2 running backs, Kingston Davis and Rakeem Boyd, both who either left or were dismissed from Michigan and Texas A&M. He had a receiver, Calvin Thompson, who was a return specialist and slot receiver at Texas Tech before getting dismissed for a violation of team rules. He then had a bunch of kids that were good enough to go division one, but due to many different circumstances, had to settle for JUCO.
So, we have the same plot as the first 2 seasons, but with newer, more fun people. Brown is way more fun than Buddy Stephens. The running backs, especially Boyd, were more committed to the sport. Thompson was the star of this season. I’m actively rooting for that kid to make it. Some of the lesser known players, namely Emmit Gooden and Jamal Scott, just had better stories. Bobby Bruce is another kid that has a way better story than any player from the first 2 seasons. The only real similarities were at QB. The QB’s at both schools had big heads, complained too much and were super, super talented. That was it.
I had a lot more fun with season 3. I’m sure it’s due to a ton of different things. It was a fresh school. There were fresh faces. This season felt more real. The people seemed more genuine. The stories were just better. There was a particular episode that chronicled a bunch of players and coaches personal upbringings. This was the best season yet.
I’m glad “Last Chance U” came back. I’m glad they changed the scenery. I like the new people a lot. Maybe that will all change after the fourth season, but for now, this show is great. I highly recommend checking it out. It is well worth your time.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He went to a small trade school in St. Louis, and they had a few guys play pick up football on the weekends. What we are saying is that there is a chance to film next season in Ty’s hometown.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.