It’s not often we at Crystal Ball Run would make much of a fuss about a major college football program offering a scholarship to a soon to be high school sophomore. It happens every day, in every conference in college football. Nothing to see here, right?
Not so fast my friends. We must remember that the devil is in the details, and the details of this scholarship-to-a-sophomore story are where things gets interesting. The school who offered the scholarship was UCLA, a program trying to make a name for itself on the Southern California recruiting scene. More importantly, the player is a wide receiver named Cordell Broadus, according to a report from ESPNLA.com.
Now if you’re thinking to yourself, “Hmm, that name Broadus sounds awfully familiar,” well, you’d actually be correct. Cordell is the son of one Calvin Broadus, better known in rap circles as Snoop Dogg.
Yes, that Snoop Dogg.
Only time will tell if the younger Broadus can actually play, and without getting too disrespectful to a kid who is only 15-years-old, the jury is in fact still out on that. After transferring from California football power Long Beach Poly, Broadus played for Diamond Bar High School’s freshman team last year, which again- with all due respect- isn’t exactly the pedigree of a can’t miss college prospect. Then again, the younger Broadus is only entering his sophomore year of high school, meaning there will be plenty of time to evaluate him as a football player going forward.
Where it gets interesting though are the sociological elements of it all. Many outlets have already openly wondered if the offer to Broadus is strictly to drum up interest and discussion in the UCLA football program, a question which does seem debatable. After all, how many other high school sophomores could UCLA have handed out a scholarship to that would’ve gotten a website like this writing about it? Not many, especially when Broadus isn’t considered an elite prospect.
Then there is the broader picture of this story, which only becomes more interesting after considering some recent news surrounding UCLA football. As you may remember, it was just a few weeks ago when another Bruins recruit- 2012 signee Justin Combs– made headlines of his own. Combs is the son of rapper P. Diddy, and many around the UCLA campus wondered if his scholarship could’ve been better served elsewhere. The argument itself is truly asinine (anyone who understands the difference between a “merit based” scholarship vs. a “need based” scholarship understands that), but given all the press it gave UCLA (both good and bad), the timing of the Broadus offer seems strange. Then again, if Mora is trying to get ahead of the curve on recruits he actually believes can play, it might be a brilliant strategy too.
Of course there is one other thing to consider here: In defense of the younger Broadus, his father (yes, Snoop Dogg) has made a bit of a name for himself as a youth football coach in Southern California. To his credit, Snoop Dogg invested a million dollars of his own money into the Los Angeles youth leagues in 2005, and in turn, those leagues have produced quite a bit of talent. The most notable player to come from Snoop Dogg’s “Snoop Youth Football League” is Oregon superstar running back and 2012 Heisman Trophy dark horse De’Anthony Thomas. Heck, it was actually Snoop Dogg himself who gave Thomas his high school nickname of “Black Mamba.”
So does that mean Broadus will be the next De’Anthony Thomas? Almost certainly not.
But maybe this isn’t just about building hype after all.
For all his insight, analysis and opinion on sports, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.