College football fans who watched the Tuesday premiere of “Young Rock” might have recognized a distinctive character — and voice.
The comedy series starts viewers in the year 2032, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on the campaign trail for the presidential election — hey, why not? From there, the episode, titled “Working the Gimmick,” takes a look at Johnson’s formative years, starting with his background in the world of ’80s pro-style wrestling and moving to his college football career at the University of Miami.
It’s there that former Hurricanes defensive line coach Ed Orgeron — played by Emmett Skilton — makes a hilarious appearance.
Skilton does a decent job depicting Orgeron’s unique cajun accent, and it was an inspired choice to have him chew his coffee, considering his many notable food exploits. (Orgeron in real life has been known to drink eight to 10 energy drinks a day, once held a live worm in his mouth and has probably eaten more gumbo on the recruiting trail than the average person does in a lifetime).
While Skilton’s depiction might fall short of the genuine article, it was still a hilarious, albeit brief caricature of Orgeron. Johnson, who played primarily at defensive line for the Hurricanes from 1990 to 1994, coincided with the coach for three seasons (the latter coached Hurricanes defensive linemen from 1988 to 1992).
Johnson only earned one start in his five collegiate seasons — he played behind Warren Sapp — but the relationship he built with his coach was apparently strong enough that they still talk (on Twitter, at least).
Thank you, Coach O.
Always grateful for the lessons you taught me, that I was able to understand much later in life (finally;). Stay healthy and always proudly rooting you on. Geaux Tigers. #NationalChampions https://t.co/eRI5b8QFPm
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) May 3, 2020
Orgeron’s character wasn’t the only one to feature in the premiere; wrestlers such as The Iron Sheik and Andre the Giant also made appearances. Here’s looking to the next character appearance in “Young Rock,” which airs Episode 2 on Feb. 23.