Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud attributes the development of his skills to Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg -- Photo Credit: Tulane Public Relations

A decade before becoming NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud was developing his skills in Snoop Dogg’s youth football league.

Stroud, who joined the Pomona Steelers at age 12, recently told ESPN that his two years in Snoop’s Los Angeles-area league played a crucial role in his journey to becoming a star with Houston.

“Being who I am and growing up in Southern California, you get to dabble in a lot of different cultures,” the 22-year-old Stroud, who grew up 40 miles from downtown L.A. in Rancho Cucamonga (CA), told ESPN. “I get to understand people for whatever they really are. I’m able to kind of relate to people really well. God has blessed me with that skill.

“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 … 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.”

Stroud’s mother, Kimberly Stroud, revealed in the story that she initially had reservations about her son joining the rap legend’s youth football league.

“When we went to the actual practices, [we] saw how everybody was so professional and great people. So don’t judge a book by its cover,” Kimberly Stroud said. “The Snoop Dogg league was super instrumental in C.J.’s journey. It was a village that raised C.J. Stroud, and it wasn’t just his mother. It was mainly God, but he put people on our path to help C.J. along his journey. The Snoop Dogg League was one of those.”

Founded in 2005, Snoop’s youth football league caters to kids aged 5-13 and features over a dozen teams. The seven-game season concludes with the top two teams competing in the “Snooper Bowl.”

“Kids in other communities didn’t have football that met the prices that their mothers could afford,” Snoop told ESPN. “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.”

After starring at Ohio State, Stroud was selected by the Texans with the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he threw for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns, leading the Texans to their first playoff appearance since 2019.

“It’s special because [Stroud] is exactly what we breed kids to be,” the rap icon told ESPN. “Good students, good athletes, respecting their elders, 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.

“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.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 5, 2024

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