Stroud, who led his team to the NFL divisional round this season, played in the rapper's Snoop Youth Football League as a kid
The bond between the Houston Texans quarterback, 22, and the rap icon, 52, began a decade ago when a preteen Stroud started playing in the Snoop Youth Football League, the nonprofit organization that Snoop founded in 2005 to give inner-city kids the chance to play football.
Stroud — who honed his skills as part of that league’s Pomona Steelers when he was around 11 to 13 years old — led the Texans to the NFL divisional round this season, before losing to the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.
“I’m so excited watching these games now. I don’t even watch for the win,” Snoop said on The Rich Eisen Show ahead of Saturday’s game.
“I watch for the thrill to see that these kids have turned into grown men and they’re playing big roles on these teams,” Tha Doggfather rapper added. “They’re used to these bright lights because they were put into these positions as kids.”
Snoop recalled Stroud being “so laser-focused” and spiritual.
“He’s so positive,” he said. “That’s what I like about him is that he’s pushing a different narrative than a lot of these other guys in the league. He’s pushing a real narrative of spirit love and just being a voice of positivity.”
The 16-time Grammy nominee is currently experiencing an art-imitating-life moment as the star of The Underdoggs, a new movie premiering on Prime Video on Jan. 26.
In the movie, he plays former pro football star Jaycen "Two Js" Jennings, who is doing community service as a coach for a pee-wee football team.
Elaborating on why he feels like a “proud father” to Stroud and other players who have come out of his youth league, Snoop said these athletes will always be his babies.
“Every kid that plays in my league is considered my baby because more than likely they come in as babies and they leave as men,” he explained to Eisen. “So they may outgrow my lap, but they’ll never outgrow my heart, so they’re going to remain babies to me.”
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“When I’m watching them doing their thing, I’m just so proud, so happy,” Snoop added. “Shout out to them for being on their job and doing their job.”
Stroud, a former Ohio State University player, was drafted by the Texans as the second overall pick during the 2023 NFL Draft in April.
As a rookie quarterback, Stroud finished the regular season with 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns. He threw 499 passes and completed 319 of them for a 63.9 completion percentage.
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