After surviving life in a violent Chicago street gang through his high school years, Darnell Jackson’s future appears promising. A football scholarship gives him the chance to escape the thug lifestyle.
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During his first year in college, Darnell safely resides in a small Kentucky town, playing Division Two college football and trying to make something of himself. Adjusting to the new surroundings proves tough, but a teammate and a girl give him hope that his future will be better than his past.
In the summer after his freshman year, he returns to the old neighborhood to be with his mother. The gang reasserts its hold on him, and the leader orders Darnell to kill a specific member of a rival gang. Nearly dying in a gang fight, Darnell shoots an enemy gangbanger; unfortunately, it is the wrong target. This forces Darnell to re-evaluate his future. As a result, he lies to the mercurial leader of his gang, claiming he completed his assignment. After “doing work” for his gang, Darnell receives permission to head back to school and the security of small-town life.
When the head gangbanger learns of Darnell’s lie, the small Kentucky town isn’t so safe anymore.