With the release of season five of “Last Chance U” let’s look at some of the most disappointing JUCO signees that the Texas Tech football program has ever brought into the fold.
This week, Netflix released season five of its wildly popular documentary series Last Chance U, a program that Texas Tech football fans are certainly familiar with given that former Red Raider LB Dakota Allen was part of the show in season two. And the release of another season of the series gives us time to think about how the JUCO football world has impacted Tech football.
When season four was released last summer, we looked back on the best JUCO transfers to ever represent the scarlet and black. This year, we will take the other route and look at the most disappointing JUCO busts we’ve seen come through Lubbock.
In all honestly, it might be wise to expect JUCO players to underwhelm. After all, they face a plethora of challenges when trying to make the jump to the FBS level.
First of all, players have to overcome the issues that landed them at the JUCO level in the first place. That could be maturity problems, a poor attitude, a perceived lack of talent, or academic woes. But whatever the reason they are forced to go to the junior college ranks, those players often carry those issues with them to their FBS programs.
What’s more, the JUCO programs simply are not equipped to fully prepare players for the next level. While freshmen and sophomores at Texas Tech and other FBS programs have had two years in a top-flight strength and nutrition program, the same can’t be said of JUCO players, many of whom play at programs that pay little to no attention to weight training or their player’s dietary needs.
Also, the coaching at the JUCO ranks is well below the level of that at the top-tier FBS programs. Consider the fact that one FBS player may spend his first two years learning the game from the likes of Lincoln Riley, Nick Saban, or Dabo Swinney while another may spend the same time period playing for a JUCO staff that may not even have a coach for every position group and it is easy to see again why the JUCO ranks are less than ideal.
With all of that in mind, it is rather remarkable to consider that any JUCO player ever becomes a success at the highest level of the game. But it does happen and Tech has had luck with players like Robert Johnson, Dwayne Slay, Dakota Allen, and McKinner Dixon to name a few.
But the reality is that most JUCO players Tech has brought on board have either been just depth guys or have been complete busts. How that is measured is typically by how well the players meet the hype that surrounded their arrival given their recruiting ranking. So with that said, let’s go back and look at the most disappointing JUCO busts in the recent history of Texas Tech football.