Season two of Netflix’s smash hit docuseries Last Chance U dropped on Friday and, like any good college football fan, I’ve already binged through the entire season.
In season one of the series, we were taken on the journey alongside the East Mississippi Community College Lions as they chased their third consecutive Junior College National Championship. Things went south for EMCC toward the end of their season, after a huge brawl with rival Mississippi Delta left the Lions locked out of the MACJC playoffs and head coach Buddy Stephens’ standing with his players in limbo.
Season two is the redemption story for the EMCC Lions. After serving their one game suspension to start the 2016 season, where only incoming freshman and new transfer players (excluding former Florida State quarterback De’Andre Johnson) are allowed to participate in the season opener with Jones Community College, the Lions refocus themselves and try to rally around Buddy Stephens in their quest to win the National Championship.
We get a new cast of characters, for the most part. Head coach Buddy Stephens returns and announces, in the first episode, that he is working to become a changed man, which leads to him battling with his temper throughout the season. Former West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett returns as EMCC’s quarterback coach, as do defensive line coach Davern Williams and offensive coordinator Marcus Wood. Academic advisor, and fan favorite, Brittany Wagner also returns to Scooba, and ultimately faces a tougher test with the new group of athletes than in the previous season.
On the field, running back Isaiah Wright returns for the Lions, after backing up DJ Law in the first season, and former Seminoles quarterback Johnson comes in and takes the reigns of the Lions offense. But the spotlight of the season is largely focused on East Mississippi’s defense, and more specifically the defensive line. We’re introduced to three defensive lineman; Kam Carter, Tim Bonner and Chauncey Rivers, all of whom ended up in Scooba for the 2016 season after being kicked off their former Division I teams due to various issues. Former, and once again current, Texas Tech linebacker Dakota Allen plays a large role in this season, and is easily one of the most likable characters.
In addition to those featured athletes, we also get a pretty good look at current West Virginia Mountaineer defensive end Ezekiel Rose. Although Rose doesn’t get a whole lot of the spotlight, because he shares defensive lineman duties with three of the main characters of the season, we do see him in action quite a few times as the season rolls on.
The ties to the Mountaineers this season extend way beyond Trickett and Rose. Throughout the entire season, we continue to see connections between the show and West Virginia, most notably on the recruiting front.
While we obviously know that the Mountaineer coaching staff recruited Rose from EMCC, he wasn’t the only athlete that piqued their interest. In the sixth episode of the season, we see Trickett hand deliver a letter from West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen to star running back Isaiah Wright, that simply said “Isaiah, you could be the difference maker for us.” Ultimately, the Mountaineers would back off of their scholarship offer, most likely due to Wright’s character issues during the season.
In the same episode, we see that West Virginia was also interested in former Georgia Bulldog Chauncey Rivers and wide receiver Brooks Shannon. Rivers ended up committing to Mississippi State, a popular destination for EMCC alumni, while Brooks ended up at a Division II program in Georgia.
The other major links to the Mountaineers come from one of East Mississippi’s rivals that are also featured in two episodes. The Lions take on the then No. 1 ranked Northwest Mississippi Community College in the fifth episode of the season, and that is where we see Ezekiel Rose get a decent amount of screen time after he sacks former Memphis quarterback Clay Holgorsen, who just so happens to be the nephew of the West Virginia head coach.
In the eighth episode and final episode of the season, East Mississippi is once again matched up with Northwest Mississippi, this time in the Mississippi state championship game. In this episode we get a glimpse of two more players who would go on to become Mountaineers this year, defensive end Jalen Harvey and linebacker Quondarius Qualls.
It’s unclear if there is a third season of ‘Last Chance U’ on the horizon, or if it will follow the EMCC Lions, but I can tell you that I’ll throw whatever I can to see the Clint Trickett In-Game Camera™ show up to some of FAU’s games this Fall.