July 6, 2016
A good few great college football and NFL players have made a stop in Mississippi over the years to play in our junior and community-college system. Throughout the years, several of those teams have won national championships.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College was the first to win a national title way back in 1971. Since that first championship, 11 national champions have come out of our state’s junior and community colleges.
Four of the last five National Junior College Athletic Association national football champions have been Mississippi schools. East Mississippi Community College has won three of the last five national titles alone. EMCC has not only won three of the last five national championships, but it has also been a feeder to the SEC.
Both University of Mississippi quarterbacks Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly spent time at the little community college in Scooba, Miss., as well as University of Alabama defensive linemen Jarran Reed, D.J. Pettway and Quinton Dial.
With all the success of ESPN’s sports documentaries, it should come as no surprise that other media would want to cash in on sports subjects. Inspired by a GQ article with the same name, the film, “Last Chance U,” looks at the 2015 EMCC team—a team that is good enough to win a third straight national championship, though it didn’t in 2015.
Northwest Mississippi Community College did. A brawl that took place between East Mississippi and Mississippi Delta Community College ended up getting the Lions disqualified for the playoffs.
East Mississippi was up 48-0 on Mississippi Delta with 59 seconds before halftime when the brawl broke out. Earlier in the season, head coach Buddy Stephens was suspended for two games after getting into an on-the-field altercation with a game administrator in a 48-24 win over Itawamba Community College.
One of the players featured in the film is D.J. Law, who famously, or infamously, signed with both the University of Mississippi and the University of Utah on the same day. He is now at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Another player featured is John Franklin III, who started out at Florida State University before heading to East Mississippi. Franklin is now the favorite to be the starting quarterback at Auburn University this season.
Greg Whiteley, whose other works include “Mitt” and “Resolved,” is the director and producer of this film. The documentary will only be available on Netflix, and all six parts can be streamed on July 29.