Spencer James goes from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills in “All American” on The CW


Wednesdays, (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) on The CW

Spencer James is a rising high school football player and A student at South Crenshaw High. Compton is the place he calls home. But when Beverly High School’s football coach Billy Baker recruits him to join his team in Beverly Hills, Spencer’s mother, Grace, and his best friend, Coop, convince Spencer it’s an opportunity he has to seize. Now Spencer must navigate two worlds, the south side neighborhood that he knows and the affluent Beverly Hills world that has offered him an opportunity for something bigger. When Spencer is forced to move in with Billy and his family to protect his transfer permit to Beverly, Billy’s son, Jordan (the team’s starting quarterback), is less than thrilled to be sharing his father’s attention – or the team spotlight – with Spencer. While Spencer struggles to find his footing, he makes an unlikely friend in Jordan’s sister, Olivia, who is dealing with her own demons. He also quickly develops a crush on his classmate, Layla, something her boyfriend, Asher, quickly realizes – and so, he sets out to drive Spencer off the football team and out of Beverly Hills for good.

Inspired by the life of NFL player Spencer Paysinger.  ALL AMERICAN stars Daniel Ezra, Taye Diggs, Samantha Logan, Bre-Z, Greta Onieogou, Monet Mazur, Michael Evans Behling, Cody Christian and Karimah Westbrook. ALL AMERICAN is from Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios in association with Berlanti Productions, with executive producers April Blair (“Reign”), Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Riverdale”), Sarah Schechter (“The Flash,” “Riverdale”) and Rob Hardy (“Power”).

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All American – Pictured (L-R): Daniel Ezra as Spencer James and Taye Diggs as Billy Baker — Photo: Marc Hom/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Spencer Colin Christopher Paysinger, a Los Angeles native, enrolled at Beverly Hills High School in 2002 where he played a variety of sports but excelled at football. Finishing his senior year regular season undefeated, Paysinger was named the unanimous league MVP while also garnering All-CIF accolades. After graduating from BHHS, he accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Oregon. His personal story is the inspiration for the new CW drama “All American.”

In his time at Oregon, Paysinger helped lead the Ducks to their second undefeated regular season in school history while making the All PAC-10 honorable mention list twice. An Economics major, Paysinger would often exercise his studies with a series of internships around Eugene, Oregon. After a heartbreaking loss in the 2011 BCS National Championship game, Spencer signed an undrafted, rookie free agent contract with the New York Giants.

During his rookie year, the New York Giants would go on to win Super Bowl XLVI. After four successful years in New York, Paysinger decided to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2015 where over the course of two seasons he would help the Dolphins to their first playoff appearance in eight years. After leaving the Dolphins in 2017, Paysinger had a brief stint with the New York Jets and finished the 2017-18 season with the Carolina Panthers. He realized his goal of playing seven seasons in the NFL and retired on New Year’s Eve in 2017 to pursue a career in writing and producing. Over the course of his 7-year career, Paysinger tallied well over 250 tackles, five passes defended, one sack, four fumble recoveries and 15 career starts.

Off the field, Paysinger interned with Quest Diagnostics, in New Jersey, under their Blueprint For Athletes brand working in marketing. In Miami, he helped build a business called Athlete’s Transition U. designed to help professional athletes strengthen their business acumen. In 2017, Paysinger created Afterball LLC, an investment fund fully backed by NFL athletes with a focus on early stage startups. In his neighborhood of View Park, Calif. Paysinger hopes to revitalize the community with a variety of new concepts, starting with Hilltop Cafe, a fast, casual eatery with allegiance to underserved communities, opening in early August 2018.

Paysinger has been married for two years to his high school friend Blair and they have a one-year-old daughter named Cairo.

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