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Last Chance U, WSU football, and junior college transfers

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There have been hits and misses.

Washington State Cougars v Washington Huskies
Send it in, Jerome!
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Good morning Coug fans. Just think: this time next week, we'll all be digesting whatever comes out of Pac-12 media days, which take place next Wednesday and Thursday. Mike Leach, Peyton Pelluer and Jamal Morrow are at the podium on day 2 at 11:34 a.m., which is oddly specific.

For now, there's not a lot of news. Oh sure, Luke Falk was named to another preseason watch list. This time, it was the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. That's the fourth watch list Falk has been named to, for those keeping score at home.

But beyond that.....mostly crickets. A few publications have season previews running, which you can find in the links below.

So before the links and this week's Old YouTube Clip of the Week, I thought I'd take a look at WSU's junior college pipeline history.

Why? Because Last Chance U Season 2 just dropped on Netflix, that's why!

For the unfamiliar: Last Chance U is a tremendous documentary/reality show on Netflix that follows the East Mississippi Community College Lions. The team has had major success in recent years, and has produced players like LeGarrette Blount and Chad Kelly, to name a couple.

Season 1 featured the team's 2015 season, which ended prematurely due to a wild brawl. Season 2 covers the most recent season.

The cinematography and soundtrack are both outstanding, and the show does a nice job of making stars out of folks like Brittany Wagner, the team's academic advisor. It offers an incredible glimpse into the life of JC football and delves into the reasons why some of the players are at a junior college rather than, say, Florida State.

Here's the Season 2 trailer:

This got me thinking about WSU's JC past.

Back in 2008, The Seattle Times had a story on WSU football players getting into lots of trouble off the field. A quote about recruiting JC guys got my attention.

Ken Casavant, the faculty representative at the time for the athletic department, said, "When they’re in junior college, they’re there for a reason. I don’t want to be too rude, but you’re potentially starting with damaged goods — or at least at-risk students.”

I thought about that quote when watching Last Chance U. It's obvious these players are extremely talented, but then you discover their academic issues, which are both frustrating and sad to witness. They're not all there due to academics, but many are.

WSU's had its share of misses when recruiting JC guys, but they've hit a lot of home runs as well.

The most recent home run was Shalom Luani, now with the Oakland Raiders. Jerome Harrison was a JC transfer, and he turned out pretty good, I'd say. Vince Mayle comes to mind, as does Chris Jackson.

On the flip side, who could forget five-star Terry Mixon? He came to Pullman as the nation's top JC recruit but was nursing a foot injury and overweight. He didn't last long before transferring to Eastern Washington.

This year's squad features some JC transfers with something to prove. Sean Harper, Robert Valencia, Easop Winston and Dymund Richardson are all coming in via the junior college route.

So what other JC transfers stick out in your mind? I know there are many more.

Links

Washington State’s Luke Falk named to Walter Camp watch list | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was named to the 2017 Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List, the award foundation announced on Friday.

Falk Named to Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Falk is one of 40 players named to the watch list.

Analysis: Washington seeks to make return trip to College Football Playoff, but underrated Stanford may surprise them - The Daily Wildcat
In every major college football conference, one division usually stands above the rest. The SEC has the West, the ACC has the Atlantic, and the Pac-12 has the North.

Lindy's college football preview: Lots to like about WSU but the schedule is daunting - Washington State - Scout
NO SUMMER run up to fall camp would be complete without a gander at Lindy’s annual college football preview. And this year’s edition didn’t disappoint with its array of Cougar nuggets.

Old YouTube Clip of the Week

This week's clip is the 1984 WSU-Oregon game.

  • So this is a video of the game where Rueben Mayes set a then-NCAA record for rushing yards in a game with 357.
  • But that's not why we're choosing this video.
  • We're not going to watch the entire game—it's more than three hours long. That's three episodes of Last Chance U I could be watching instead!
  • Let's focus on the clip's intro. We see highlights of WSU's come-from-behind victory at Stanford the week prior. Mayes has a starring role in these highlights—it's as if the production crew knew he'd set a rushing record!
  • That voice.....it sounds so familiar.
  • We see WSU recover a fumble near the sideline. Weird. Recovering a fumble at the sideline against Stanford? I could have sworn the same thing happened in Pullman in 2015, but #Pac12refs.
  • Nice to see Stanford's tradition of a half-empty stadium goes way back.
  • Who's voice is this?!?! I can't seem to put my finger on it.
  • It's really weird seeing all these running plays.
  • Why do I have "Goodbyyyyyeeee baseball!" going through my head?
  • Oh! That's why! Hello, 30-year-old Rick Rizzs.
  • By the way, anybody know what The Super Channel was? Apologies to those Sonics fans, as you'll see a familiar logo. Looks like it was the precursor to Prime Sports, then Fox Sports, and now Root Sports, but if someone has more insight, please share.
  • That's all we're focusing on in the clip. Enjoy the game if you watch it. I hear the Cougs win.