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'The U Reloaded': Unofficial Sequel To 'The U' In The Works By Najeh Davenport (TRAILER)

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Debuting after the 2009 Heisman Trophy presentation, ESPN's 30-for-30 documentary "The U" was an instant smash.

The 2.3 million viewers broke a record for a sports documentary on cable. Naturally, director Billy Corben suggested a sequel that expanded the story of Miami football's rise to power in the 1980s. But ESPN passed and the idea faded.

Enter Najeh Davenport and skip ahead three years.

The former Hurricane and NFL running back revived the concept a few months ago and is currently producing the unofficial Part II. "The U Reloaded: The Rise for 5" will look at Miami's return to glory in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It culminates with the 2001 national title team on which Davenport was a captain.

The film is unaffiliated with Corben or his Rakontur production company.

"I have nothing to say because I don't know anything about it," said Corben, whose work also includes 2006's "Cocaine Cowboys" and the 30-for-30 film "Broke" that aired in 2012. "I don't know anything about it other than what he's told me and what I've seen online. I wish him the best of luck with it. I hope it's good."

Davenport and Corben spoke recently on the topic. The film veteran was able to talk Davenport through a few of the basics since he'd never produced a project for public consumption. Replicating the popularity of "The U" isn't necessarily the goal.

"I wouldn't say there's pressure," said Davenport, who played seven years in the NFL. "It highlights a different time."

And the project still needs considerable help before it's completed. Though interviews were filmed as far back as two years ago, the film has been funded completely by Davenport and his business partner, Platon Alexandrakis.

The two launched a website Thursday with the goal of raising $36,000 to pay for improved production quality and licensing fees for game footage. Davenport said it'll cost $60 for every second of game action they use. As of Sunday, 17 donors contributed a total of $1,815.

A 10-minute preview posted on the site gives a taste of what the two-man team already has in the can. Interview subjects included former coach Butch Davis, players such as Clinton Portis, Jeremy Shockey, Ken Dorsey, Santana Moss, Jonathan Vilma and Bryant McKinnie.

They also have raw locker room footage from a planned documentary on the 1999 Hurricanes that fell through.

Davenport hopes the current Miami football players can get a taste of what it was like back then. Like today, that group was rebounding from NCAA sanctions and negative publicity. But Davenport sees differences in the mindset of players today. Davenport said there was a true sense of accountability within the ranks when he was in Coral Gables from 1997-2001.

"If it's school work or conditioning, we're going to make you understand how important it is for you to get right," Davenport said. "And I don't think that's going on now and that is just my personal opinion."

As with the original, the school is unaffiliated with "Reloaded." Davenport said he reached out to Miami Athletic Director Blake James to let him know the concept and give reassurance it'll cast Miami in a positive light.

"'The U' sort of got a bad rap and the university didn't like it because it showed the bad-boy image of the University of Miami's past," Alexandrakis said. "Whereas our documentary really takes you into the work ethic, the character that these couple of recruiting classes and guys brought to turn it around under the limited scholarships."

James only heard about the project Friday and said the school wouldn't be involved in the production.

"I'll reach out to Najeh now and talk to him about that project," James said.

Distribution is another unanswered question. Davenport said they weren't opposed to making it an online feature if it would have the largest audience.

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