With three-straight national titles and consistent pipeline of talent to Division I programs, few junior college football programs are as successful but less-known than East Mississippi Community College. Now the town of Scooba, Mississippi (with a population of 730) and the team are the subject of an in-depth, six-part docu-series, titled Last Chance U, that debuts on Netflix on July 29th.
Following the Lions and controversial Coach Buddy Stephens as they strive for their fourth National Championship in 2015, audiences will meet the men underneath the helmets as they struggle to do well academically and hopefully become the future stars of the NFL. There appears to be plenty of scrappy behind-the-scenes drama. According to SB Nation, the doc shows a “coach cuss at a film crew to get out of his way. In another, he locks himself in an equipment closet to avoid cameras. A player takes a break from celebrating with teammates to speak directly into the camera on the sideline. Another grins as he tries to take a recruiting visit off-camera, but fails.” It also shows hothead Stephens yelling at his players about their “thug bullshit” and nearly getting arrested.
“We filmed some very sensitive moments that were presented in authentic ways,” director Greg Whiteley explains. “Whether you’re a presidential candidate or a convicted felon, we treat all subjects the same. By virtue of the trust that they give us, we feel a heavy burden to tell their story fairly and give them every opportunity to have their voice heard. As filmmakers, we take a very agnostic view of their virtues and vices, and let audiences make their own conclusions.”
East Mississippi Community College is responsible for having produced quite a few prominent players over the years: current Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly rebounded his career there; former Alabama and recent Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Jarran Reed and former Oregon and current New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount also played for the Lions.