C.J. Stroud owes Snoop Dogg a big debt: The unexpected role the rapper played in bringing him to the NFL

C.J. Stroud owes Snoop Dogg a big debt: The unexpected role the rapper played in bringing him to the NFL

C.J. Stroud is one of the most talented quarterbacks of his generation. In his rookie year, Stroud led the Houston Texans to the Divisional Round of the 2023 season. What few know is that if it had not been for Snoop Dog, the NFL would not have enjoyed the talent of the young signal-caller.

Stroud had a difficult adolescence. When he was barely 15 years old, his father was sentenced to 38 years in prison for multiple crimes, and his mother had to work two jobs to support him, his two brothers, and his sister.

Amidst the complications, Stroud found a blessing in his life. The Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL) allowed him to cultivate his talents and climb through the different levels of student sports until reaching the NFL.

Kimberly, C.J.’s mother, wasn’t entirely convinced about allowing her son to participate in a league run by a rapper, but that soon changed. “When we went to the current practices and saw how everyone was so professional and great people. So don’t judge a book by its cover,” admitted Mrs. Stroud.

Snoop Dogg’s impact on Stroud’s life

Coleridge Bernard Stroud IV, the player’s full name, came to the SYFL when head coach Priest Brooks learned that the young quarterback had left a youth league in search of new challenges. Since his arrival, C.J. dazzled his coaches and teammates, earning a place on one of the teams.

“I was so competitive and wanted to win so I was like ‘I have to find a way to be a leader and relate to these guys.’ That was my first step,” Stroud recalled in an interview with ESPN. With this goal in mind, the quarterback began to forge closer bonds with his teammates.

“It was good for me to learn, this is how you build a brotherhood. I wasn’t even thinking about that back then. But now that I’m older, that’s what that was,” the player admitted.

For his part, Snoop Dog said that Stroud’s case “It’s special because [he] is exactly what we breed kids to be. Good students, good athletes, respecting their elders, and their parents, and being a great listener. C.J. was a great listener. That’s why he’s translating on that football field into a great leader.”

Creating opportunities for young people

Snoop Dogg’s goal with the SYFL is to give kids ages 5 to 13 the opportunity to play football while building positive relationships with their teammates and coaches.

“Kids in other communities didn’t have football that met the prices that their mothers could afford. At the same time opening up to other kids as well. But the initial thought was to help out the urban inner-city and give them opportunities to play,” the musician explained to ESPN.

The Texans’ sginal-caller was one of the league’s biggest hits, and Snoop still has a special relationship with the player. “I like to get information from him because he’s the future. … So to be able to tap in with the youth and stay active. That’s a gift, and I love the fact that my football league has created that.”

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