Back in 2016, Netflix released Last Chance U, a show that would capture its audience for providing viewers with a firsthand look inside the day-to-day operations of a collegiate football team. While shows like this have existed in the past, this show focuses on the football players nobody wanted. This year, the show may have its first athlete drafted into the NFL. Dakota Allen was a star in the second season of Last Chance U. Allen now has his eyes set on the NFL Draft and showing the world that sometimes all you need is another chance.
Dakota Allen, Star of Last Chance U, Eyes 2019 NFL Draft
Last Chance U captures live footage from two separate junior colleges. The first being East Mississippi Community College of Mississippi, the other being Independence Community College of Kansas.Last Chance U Standout Dakota Allen Ready for the 2019 NFL Draft
The first season garnered attention because NFL stars such as Cam Newton, LeGarrette Blount, Jarran Reed, and Antowain Smith all attended these schools. The aim was to bring in talented – though troubled – young athletes and give them another chance. NFL and college scouts keep in touch with these two schools, but watching the film really gives them a unique look into the athlete’s life. Even if the athlete does not make it to the next level, sometimes they find a fresh start and a new path. Now, EMCC could find another one of their stars suiting up next season.
A Star Falls
Dakota Allen’s fall from grace is a tragic story. Allen grew up in Texas, surrounded by football. He became a star athlete at Summer Creek High School and was the senior class vice president. As an honor student, he also excelled in math. After graduating, he decided to stay local and attend Texas Tech. Everything was aligned for a picture perfect life until Allen found trouble going into his sophomore year. On June 3rd, 2016, Allen as well as two teammates admitted to burglary and firearm theft from a safe from a home near the campus.
After being dismissed from Texas Tech for his crimes, Allen – a once coveted recruit – sought out a second chance at EMCC. On the show, Allen showed growth and maturity as he focused on his studies in both school and football film. Allen was an absolute force on the field and his teammates saw why high energy and playmaking ability had previously earned him a Division 1 scholarship.
Even Texas Tech noticed his commitment to fix the mistakes he had made and brought him back to the program. This is the power that the show can have. It gives these colleges and NFL teams direct insight into how the players are on and off the field once given their “last chance.”
Time for @dakota_allen40 to prove it.
— Texas Tech Football (@TexasTechFB) March 3, 2019
Only two years removed from being at EMCC, Allen has tallied up 174 tackles the past two seasons for Texas Tech. He earned an invite to the NFL combine and put up impressive numbers across the board. Allen measured in at 6”1’ and weighing 232 lbs. with a 31 ¼” reach. He ran a 4.77 40-yard dash, put up 23 reps at bench press, jumped a 31.5″ vertical, and a 6.88-second three-cone drill.
Owning the Past
On March 1st, the Players Tribune published Dakota Allen’s article titled, “A Letter to NFL GMs.” Allen gives NFL GMs an unfiltered and honest look into his life, decisions, and intentions as he moves forward from his clouded past. A past that Allen does not run away from, but embraces and uses it as motivation not lose sight on his mission.
Since he was a child, all he wanted to do was make his parents and older brother Anthony proud. He wanted – or wants – to provide for them. He appears ready to start a new chapter in his life and do right by whichever team takes a shot on him. Last Chance U gave Allen another chance, but his hard work and perseverance earned him a second chance at his dream. Starting April 25, Allen, as well his past teammates, coaches, and fans of the show will be waiting to hear his named called in Nashville, Tennessee.
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