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All American: One Quote From Each Character That Sums Up Their Personality

All American was renewed for its fifth season in March, and the teen drama is the top-rated show of the season on The CW, according to TVLine. The show has taken a lighter direction since Spencer James and his friends graduated high school and as the beloved characters explore the world as young adults, their insecurities come to life through their most memorable quotes.

While darker high school dilemmas shaped these characters into who they are now, they continue to reveal new things about themselves as they find their voices. The insightful quotes shared in recent episodes speak to how their personalities have evolved over time, and the direction they will likely take in the fifth season.

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Spencer James

“This Is About Me… And The Fact That For The First Time In My Life, I’m Not The Best Player On The Team… It’s Not A Bad Thing. It’s Motivation.”

Football always came easy for Spencer James. His talent shined above his teammates in South Crenshaw and Beverly Hills. After successfully playing for two high schools, Spencer was recruited to play D1 football at Golden Angelas University.

RELATED: 10 Best Football Players On All American

As a small fish in a big pond, Spencer has to fight to find his place on the depth chart and get praise from his new coach. The determination Spencer has to keep improving his skillset is motivated by the fact that he is no longer the best, and fueled by his ability to see the bigger picture.


Coach Billy Baker

“You’ve Got To Get To The Point Where Nothing Is Ever Good Enough. When That Happens, When You Embrace That Grind, Sky’s The Limit.”

Coach Billy Baker from All American looking off camera.

Billy Baker started out playing football at a young age in South Crenshaw, rising through the ranks, and playing for the NFL, before an injury forced him into early retirement. Billy always set high expectations for himself and worked hard to achieve his goals, which is why he is one of the best characters in All American.

As a Coach, Billy strives to instill this strong work ethic in his players, whether it’s his son Jordan, Spencer, or anyone else. After his students graduate from high school, Coach Baker continues to offer sound advice, like this quote he shared with Spencer.


Jordan Baker

“Ever Since High School, I Lost My Confidence, Everything Used To Be Easy, Then I Had To Walk Onto a Field Where Nobody Wanted Me.”

Things came easy to Jordan Baker when he was in high school because he was the Coach’s son. Even though he struggled to seek his father’s praise after Spencer was recruited to play for Beverly High, he thrived on the confidence nepotism provided.

After Jordan made a detrimental decision to play while he was still injured, he nearly ruined his chance to play college football. Jordan had to humble himself, take a walk-on position at G.A.U., and learn to earn his spot, instead of having it handed to him by his father. When he confessed his insecurities to Layla, it was clear why he felt this way, even if he rarely spoke about it.


Asher Adams

“I Just Don’t Want To Mess This Up, And I Have No Idea If What I Have Is Any Good.”

Asher has a history of making questionable decisions when he’s under pressure. Even though he’s changed a lot since high school, he still questions his own capabilities to do something right, when he is writing his first scouting report for Coastal California University.

RELATED: 10 Things All American Did Better Than Friday Night Lights

When Asher must scope out personal details about Spencer and Jordan, he’s worried about the substance of his report and confides in his friend, JJ. Asher’s doubts about his job performance show how much he cares about his future.


Olivia Baker

“We’re Both Evolving And That Means A Little More Work On Both Of Our Parts To Make Sure We’re Riding This Growth Wave Together.”

Olivia has lived a privileged life but she has also faced challenges like addiction, and grown as a person. As she ventures into the world of journalism at the L.A. Tribune, her interests evolve, and her boyfriend Spencer struggles to keep up with her.

Although it seemed like they were headed for a breakup, Olivia’s mature response proves she has learned how to maintain relationships as a  busy adult, after witnessing her parents’ marriage firsthand. Olivia knows that sometimes all it takes is communication and compromise.

Tamia “Coop” Cooper

“Look, Change Is Uncomfortable, Growth Is Uncomfortable, And Hell, Adulting Is Uncomfortable… We Have To Learn To Sit In The Uncomfortable, Me Included.”

Coop is one of the most likable characters on All American because she tends to be the voice of reason. Although she is grounded in reality, she stays optimistic about finding success outside of South Crenshaw. However, when her dreams of becoming a rapper are cut short, Coop is the only character unsure of her future.

While adapting to new challenges with her friends, Coop learns the best way to process change is to sit and work through it slowly, instead of seeking an immediate solution. Coop hasn’t lost her sense of optimism, but she is learning to face her issues head-on, instead of relying on other people to rescue her.

Layla Keating

“Her Mind Betrayed Her. I Know What That Feels Like, We’re Not That Different.”

Behind her brave face, Layla has tackled some deep issues with her mental health over the past few seasons on All American. After attending rehab, Layla found support in Carrie, who also has depression. Layla’s friends who haven’t had depression villainize Carrie and her actions.

Layla’s blossoming career as a music producer reassures her friends and family, but when she says this quote to Jordan, she reminds him that anyone can experience depression, and two people who appear very different, could be more alike than they seem.

JJ Parker

“He Was Brave Enough To Share His Truth With The World, And I Wasn’t Brave Enough To Do That, Even With My Friends.”

For years, JJ had major Leo energy on All American, as the life of the party. However, JJ recently revealed something traumatic happened to him the summer before his freshman year of high school. He never told anyone, including his closest friends.

At the time, he found inspiration from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and his bravery in sharing news about his mother’s depression. Although JJ’s love of “The Rock” seems superficial to most people, it is the main reason why JJ strives to live every day to the fullest.

Laura Baker

“Everything Worth Fighting For Involves Sacrifice.” 

As a successful Beverly Hills attorney, Laura Baker knows how to fight for what she believes in. But sometimes seeking justice comes at a price, as she knows all too well when she had to leave her position as the D.A., in order to support the family of Tamika Pratt.

RELATED: 10 TV Shows & Movies Where You’ve Seen The All American Cast

Laura knows what it takes to make sacrifices not only for her career but also for her marriage to Coach Billy Baker. She had to withstand her father-in-law’s racist comments, and learn how to forgive Billy for his affair with Grace James. Laura fought to save her marriage, and she shared this piece of wisdom with her daughter, Olivia when she was concerned about her relationship with Spencer.


Cordell “Preach” Simms

“You’ve Only Got Two Hands, You Might Want To Figure Out What’s Important To You And Hang On To That As Hard As You Can.” 

As a former gang member and father, Preach’s priorities have changed for the better over the years. He knows the importance of hanging on to the people who matter the most, especially since he has seen what happens when they slip away.

When Billy Baker struggles to find a balance between his roles as head football coach, interim principal, father, and husband, Preach reminds him that he can only do so much on his own. This quote shows how far Preach has come, and how he has learned to trust people and ask for help when he needs it.

NEXT: One Quote From Each All American Character That Goes Against Their Personality

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