The third season of American is now available on Netflix, and the show is still firmly entrenched in the Netflix Top 10. On Monday, October 25, The CW will premiere the fourth season of the sports drama, and the spin-off series All American: Homecoming will premiere the following week.
Have the Events Depicted in ‘All American’ Ever Happened?
In All American, Daniel Ezra plays Spencer James, a star American football player at South Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles.
Season 1 begins with Beverly Hills High football coach Billy Baker spotting Spencer James and recruiting him to play for the rival school (Taye Diggs).
The series follows James as he commits to his new team at Beverly High while also maintaining his allegiance to his hometown.
In the third season, Spencer is a senior at Crenshaw High School.
Spencer Paysinger, a former professional American football player and now a consulting producer for the show is the source of inspiration for the show.
Davis, the Beverly Hills High School assistant football coach, was a character he portrayed.
Several events and characters in Paysinger’s life have been changed for dramatic purposes in the show.
The two Spencers, for instance, don’t even play the same position. In All-American, Spencer James displays his abilities as a defensive back, runner, receiver, and kick returner. In real life, Spencer Paysinger lined up at wide receiver and occasionally on defense.
While Spencer James goes to both South Crenshaw High and Beverly Hills High, Spencer Paysinger only went to one school.
Spencer James quit playing football after his father, Corey (Chad L. Coleman), took over as coach at South Crenshaw High but passed away from a terminal illness in season two. Spencer Paysinger did not have an experience like that. All through high school, Donald Paysinger Sr. encouraged and supported his son.
In real life, Spencer Paysinger was never shot and killed by rival gang members, as depicted in All American, Season 2.
Robbie Rogers, a producer, recently told ESPN: “This is based on actual events, and giving the characters names and faces helps make the story more tangible. It was crucial to hear it directly from Spencer.”
Paysinger, a linebacker who played football in high school and college, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Giants in 2011. He participated in the team’s victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
He originally joined the Miami Dolphins for the 2015 season on a one-year contract and was re-signed for the 2016 season.
And then in June of 2017, he was signed by the New York Jets, only to be cut before the 2017 NFL regular season even began.
After signing with the Carolina Panthers on December 5 and playing in three games for the team, he was waived on December 29.
At the start of 2018, at the age of 29, Paysinger announced his retirement from football.
Paysinger told ESPN of his retirement thoughts: “As I packed my things that day, I sat in my locker and remembered that moment with a smile. I never wanted football to be my highest peak.”
Outside of All American, Paysinger runs his own coffee shop, Hilltop Cafe, in south Los Angeles, and runs Afterball LLC—an investment fund that helps retired football players with their next steps in life after retiring from the sport.
Football runs in the Paysinger family. His uncle, Carter Paysinger, was the head football coach at Beverly Hills High from 1990 to 2009, and his father, Donald Paysinger, worked with the school as an assistant and head coach for over 30 years.
Just like Spencer James in All American, Paysinger grew up in Los Angeles and attended Beverly Hills High, the school James moves to from Crenshaw High.
James’ college years are yet to be explored in All American but it will most likely follow Paysinger’s path, who went on to play college football at Oregon, becoming captain and team leader.
Luckily, All American fans do not have too long to wait until season four lands on Netflix.
The fourth series of All American will arrive on Netflix worldwide shortly after it has finished airing on The CW.
All American seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now.