SCOOBA, Miss. (BVM) – The original season of the Netflix hit series “Last Chance U” brought about plenty of interesting characters and fan favorites. One of those was Ronald Ollie.
Ollie displayed a big sense of humor and relatable personality on the show, always smiling, laughing and joking. He has since taken his positive outlook to several other stops on his football journey, but is also finding a passion off the gridiron.
The 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive lineman from Wayne County High School came to East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) in 2014, hoping to find a path to an eventual Division I scholarship playing for head coach Buddy Stephens.
Coming off an NJCAA championship in 2014, Ollie starred as “Last Chance U” began in 2015, helping EMCC to an 8-1 record with 30 tackles, multiple fumble recoveries – one which he returned for a touchdown – and an interception.
However, off the field is where Ollie ended up needing some guidance. He received it from EMCC academic advisor Brittany Wagner, who he formed a special bond with during the course of the season. Making sure he maintained good grades to get to where he wanted to go, Wagner formed a close relationship with Ollie and helped lead him to his eventual Division I future. Despite additional interest from Southeast Missouri State, Ollie landed at FCS Nicholls State in Louisiana, joining fellow EMCC defensive lineman Marcel Andry.
Success followed Ollie to Nicholls State, as he appeared in 10 games in his first season with the program, recording 41 tackles – the seventh best mark on the team – 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He also had an 84-yard touchdown return on a blocked punt.
In his final season of college football in 2018, Ollie impressed yet again with 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and two fumble recoveries. Part of a strong Colonels defense, Ollie was named an All-Southland Honorable Mention player, concluding his Nicholls career with 74 total tackles.
Chill Out lil homie them A gaps closed 😅💪🏿‼️ pic.twitter.com/KUV7jAJS4k
— Ronald Ollie (@RonaldOllie) November 12, 2018
Ollie’s next step became pro football. Although the defensive lineman did not hear his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft, he received interest from the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens in part thanks to impressive pro day numbers which included a time of 4.87 in the 40-yard dash, a 35-inch vertical, 114-inch broad jump and 22 bench-press reps at 220 pounds.
The Ravens made an offer to sign Ollie. However, at the last minute, the contract was rescinded.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) April 28, 2019
Eventually the defensive lineman was invited to rookie minicamp with the then-Oakland Raiders.
— Ronald Ollie (@RonaldOllie) May 6, 2019
Ironically, Ollie’s Raiders’ tenure was featured on another hit documentary series, HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” The cameo on the series was brief, as the former “Last Chance U” star was cut early in camp by the Raiders after suffering an Achilles injury.
Playing in the @NFL has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. I would like to thank the @Raiders & Coach Gruden for giving me my 1st opportunity. I’ve learned more about myself these past few months than I have my entire life. My journey isn’t over & I can’t wait for the future pic.twitter.com/HLHQUT7fvZ
— Ronald Ollie (@RonaldOllie) August 10, 2019
It was yet another bout of adversity, something Ollie has dealt with his entire life. When he was just five years old, his mother, Brenda Ollie, was shot and killed by her estranged boyfriend, who eventually crashed his car during a police chase and took his own life as well.
Ronald and his sister were taken in by their aunt, Rachel Barnett. The football standout endured poor living conditions throughout his youth, and often found himself in trouble. His outlets were playing basketball and more prominently football, which gave him some kind of hope for a future.
Dreaming of someday playing in the SEC, Ronald received just a few community college offers coming out of high school due to his poor grades. Sitting in his car on signing day, he randomly chose between one of three community colleges: Copiah-Lincoln, Mississippi Gulf Coast and EMCC. In choosing EMCC, he clearly made the right choice.
After EMCC, Ronald’s 2016 season at Nicholls went well, but he decided to leave football in 2017. He moved to Houston and began working at a sporting goods store. Before long, however, Ronald began working out with Justin Allen, a celebrity trainer and brother of former NFL tight end Dwayne Allen, who convinced him to return to Louisiana in 2018 where he went on to have a terrific senior season at Nicholls.
— Ronald Ollie (@RonaldOllie) January 26, 2018
Whether it was continuing to deal with his grades, being homesick while at EMCC, suffering from concussion symptoms, or contemplating quitting football, Ronald battled through adversity once again in college, and has continued doing so afterward.
Although his original NFL plan didn’t pan out, Ronald remained focused on a pro football career. In January of 2020, that led him to the Canadian Football League (CFL) as he signed a contract with the Toronto Argonauts.
The CFL season was canceled in 2020, denying Ronald a chance to get on the field. In July of 2021, prior to the start of the next season, Ronald was cut by the Argonauts.
It remains to be seen if Ronald will still pursue a professional football career in the future. Perhaps he will choose to follow in Allen’s footsteps and help the next generation of football stars, as he will be part of Allen’s “Next Step U” exposure showcase in late July.
Time to run it back‼️Don’t miss out on my Next Up U Exposure Showcase with my bro @RonaldOllie & some special guests. We are looking for the next elite players to come out of Houston. This event is FREE but space is limited register at https://t.co/kVr55BTEdW #WeALLEN pic.twitter.com/455qMjlZFj
— Justin Allen (@justinallen_13) June 27, 2022
However, for right now, Ronald has found another passion off the field, and that’s music. He has become a rapper under the name Romo Blvck, putting out new content throughout the past couple of years.
— Romo Blvck (@romoblvck) April 24, 2020
The “Last Chance U” star is also selling branded merchandise as he continues to capitalize on the fame the docuseries brought him.
It may not be the football career Ronald expected, but he continues to work, follow his passions and find success, and will always be beloved across the “Last Chance U” fan base.
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