Last Chance U Season 3 Review
By Tyler Sargent
(Caution Spoilers Ahead)
For Season 3 of the Netflix Documentary series “Last Chance U” they traded their rural view of Eastern Mississippi Community College for a small-school perspective with the Independence Community College Pirates. Right off the bat the show allows you to see the authentic, blue-collar, and hardworking town that Independence really is, and how the tight-knit community is able to get behind the Pirates, the only true sports team in the area.
One of the most explosive characters that the show really begins to develop is Coach Jason Brown who is from one of the toughest neighborhoods in all of Compton, California. Brown played at Compton Community College where he really was able to develop his tough-nosed approach to football and life. Coach Brown’s abrasive and loud style of coaching is very obvious and can be seen as almost an issue to the team in the beginning. At the same time, what people really don’t see is the fact that Brown truly does care about his players in the sense that he is trying to place as many of his guys in the best schools and situations possible. Another coach on the staff that really stood out to me was Frank Diaz who was essentially put out to be the babysitter of diva quarterback Malik Henry. Overall, while Diaz seemed rather soft and not well-spoken as a coach, he clearly had an immense amount of football knowledge. The main issue that I had with Diaz was the fact he seemed to always give up too early on Henry, too often allowing his toxic behavior to simmer.
Henry, a former 4-star recruit who was bounced out of Florida State by Jimbo Fisher for his violations of team rule, wound up at Independence looking to get back on the right path back to Division I football. I feel as though Malik took his opportunity that he had at Independence and used it to display his arrogant qualities rather than better himself as a player. Whether it was arguing with coaches, audibling out of plays when told not to, or taunting opposing teams, I feel that Henry really hurt his chances of even being able to make it back to Division I. However, even with all those negative character qualities, I still believe that Henry was a highly talented QB who had a great football mind. Overall, I really wasn’t a big fan of Henry and his antics but as the season concluded I began to view them as just competitive fire, and I hope for Henry to maybe be able to figure things out.
Another standout player on the Independence Football team was linebacker Bobby Bruce. Growing up in Titusville, Florida, Bobby was able to develop this edge and hardworking attitude that is on sheer display throughout the season. Although he was a troubled kid who seriously struggled in the classroom, he seemed to eventually get things together by the end of the season. Playing more and more towards the end of the season, Bruce was clinical in not only helping ICC win the Jayhawk conference but also the team’s bowl game. Although recent news has suggested that he was arrested for robbery in Florida over the summer, he has reportedly returned to ICC for the upcoming season.
The other standout player for ICC was star running back Rakeem “The Dream” Boyd who really established himself as the team’s standout workhorse after his issues with fumbling during the earlier part of the season. Coming from Houston, Texas and having dealt with the effects of hurricane Katrina, I really was able to feel for the kid and ultimately found myself rooting for him throughout the season . Boyd really took over as the team’s main source of offense outside of Calvin Jackson. He also did extremely well to earn his starting job back after previously losing it to Jamal Scott early on in the season. A fan favorite, Boyd balled out and earned himself the route to Division I football with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Other standout players in the show that stood out to me were receiver Calvin Jackson, defensive tackle Emmit Gooden, and receiver Carlos Thompson. Jackson finished the season receiving an offer from Washington State, Gooden was given a spot with Tennessee, and Thompson ended up at Missouri Western. The show overall had no real shortage of characters, and did an excellent job of telling the stories of the hectic lifestyles that the players of Independence Community College lived. This season really left me chomping at the bit just to wait and see what ICC will be able to do this year. From beginning to end you were really on the edge of your seat watching these almost movie-like games that were played out in front of the Netflix audience. Whether it was the shootouts against Dodge and Kansas or the crazy thriller against Coffeyville, the show really was able to build up the suspense and anxiety. If this upcoming season is anything like the last season, we are all in for a treat when season 4 at ICC drops next summer.