Snoop Dogg Celebrates 3 Former Youth Football Proteges Making It into NFL

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterMay 15, 2014

USA Today

Snoop Dogg is a man passionate about a great many things—some of which don't even involve smoking. The famed rapper is also a well-known football enthusiast who has helped younger generations realize their passion for the sport. Well, now he has three NFL success stories to tout from his football league. 

NFL.com's Chase Goodbread writes about the sudden influx of Snoop Doggy talent into the league: 

It's been well-documented that Kansas City Chiefs rookie De'Anthony Thomas played his youth ball for Snoop Dogg in the Snoop Youth Football League before going on to college stardom at Oregon. But a couple of other alumns from Snoop's youth league have an NFL shot, as well: cornerbacks Kam Jackson and Greg Ducre were signed as undrafted free agents by the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers, respectively.

TMZ spoke with the rapper about the former Snoop Youth Football League players, and he was understandably ecstatic: "They all got scooped up ... we're very happy and very proud of these kids."

Mar 13, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back De   Anthony Thomas works out in front of NFL scouts during the Oregon Pro Day at the Moshofsky Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

As TMZ notes, Ronnie Hillman was the first SYFL player to make it into the NFL when he was drafted in the third round by the Broncos in 2012.

According to the official website, the league has been going strong since 2005 and is a "non-profit organization founded to provide the opportunity for inner-city children to participate in youth football and cheer."

The goal, according to the league, is to build more than football players: "The SYFL serves children between the ages of five and thirteen, teaching them the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, discipline, and self-respect, while also stressing the importance of academics."

Snoop hopes this is just the beginning of the league's success when it comes to churning out remarkable athletes, per TMZ: "I feel good about the guys that are coming out this year, the year after ... and the kids that are in the league right now. We got kids all over the SYFL that have that spirit to go to the next level!"

Now, the important part is that the hip-hop icon is hoping to impart not only a love for the game but also an understanding of what is truly important. 

TMZ says the league now has as many as 1,700 players who might have the benefit of a possible new policy that is being toyed with by the rapper. According to the report, players who "maintain a 3.0 grade point average" might just get a free pass into the league. 

To that end, Snoop offered, "The first thing that we preach is student athletes."

Of course, we all wanted to be professional athletes in our Little League and peewee days; seeing men who once played in your league will only further the incessant daydreaming for the younger fans of the sport. 

That's a great thing when you consider this is a league with the aim of pointing kids in the right direction, both on and off the field. 

That there are now three former league players in the NFL is pure icing, as the real joy must come in seeing so many young athletes find success through the Snoop Youth Football league, in whatever form that might be. 

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