Although Hunter Clowdus enjoys playing JJ Parker on CW’s “All American,” he says it took him some time to make the character his own. “It is so much fun playing this guy,” Clowdus, 30, exclusively told Page Six in a new interview. “Season one, season two, I felt I was acting, and now that we’re in three and four it just feels like I am [JJ].”
All American centers around Spencer James, inspired by the story of New York Giants player Spencer Paysinger. Played by Daniel Ezra, Spencer is back at Crenshaw High School for another season of football, while his old teammates and friends are at Beverly. With big changes in the All American setting, that brings big changes with a new cast.
With season 4 coming to The CW in late 2021 and the storylines set in motion by All American season 3, there will undoubtedly be more changes to follow. But, here’s how All American changed the true story of Spencer Paysinger’s pre-NFL career.
After winning the state title, though, All American ends season 2 with James pledging to play for Crenshaw again next season. This never happened for Paysinger, which will make the transition to Crenshaw in season 3 of the series all the more fascinating.
Where did Spencer James go to play in All American?
How Spencer Got Into Beverly Is Different In All American. At the very beginning of All American, Spencer James is recruited to go play at Beverly for Coach Baker, who had the hopes he could help bring the program a state title. In order to make this work, Spencer James had to go live with Baker’s family in Beverly Hills …
An ongoing storyline in All American is the fallout from Spencer James being shot in his right shoulder during season 2. The shooting put James’ football career in jeopardy, but he appeared to make a full recovery. That is, until the season finale where he lost feeling in his right arm again.
Then, All American season 2 had Spencer’s father become the coach at Crenshaw and recruit Spencer to come play for him, which would be the first time he would be able to coach his son. But, it was revealed that Spencer’s dad had cancer, and he died shortly thereafter. This resulted in Spencer momentarily walking away from football, but none of this actually happened to Spencer Paysinger in real life.
After winning a Super Bowl with the New York Giants and playing for the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and Carolina Panthers, Paysinger retired from the National Football League in 2017. Unlike some professional athletes, Spencer knew exactly what he wanted to do after football as he already had been pursuing his interests in screenwriting.
Throughout Paysinger’s high school career, he only went to one school: Beverly Hills High School. Even though he lived in South Central Los Angeles, he would travel to Beverly Hills every day for school. He graduated from Beverly in 2006 after playing at least two seasons as a Beverly Hills Norman. But, All American has added a changing nature to what school Spencer attends. The show introduces audiences to Spencer James as he’s playing for South Crenshaw High School, but he soon winds up playing his junior year at Beverly Hills. After winning the state title, though, All American ends season 2 with James pledging to play for Crenshaw again next season. This never happened for Paysinger, which will make the transition to Crenshaw in season 3 of the series all the more fascinating.
But, the show has so far not put Spencer on the path to go where Spencer Paysinger went to college. Paysinger was an Oregon Duck for five years (after red-shirting his freshman year) and chose them over Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado, and Wyoming. So far, All American has not put Spencer James on Paysinger’s college path.
But, this simply wasn’t the case for Spencer Paysinger. While he was a standout player in his division, he was only a two-star recruit, according to some scouting websites. As for the schools that recruited Spencer James, All American has mostly focused on the potential of him going to UCLA.