DIAMOND BAR, Calif. —
Cordell Broadus is no different than his teammates on the Diamond Bar
football team. The 15-year-old sophomore laces up his cleats before practice, throws pads over his shoulders and straps on a helmet the same as his peers.
But once he hits the gridiron the whispers from fans begin, the fingers point, the heads nod.
draws special attention.
He is the son of hip-hop mogul Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Dogg, and every one around Southern California either knows it or is whispering about it.
It's a fact the talented 6-foot-2, 186-pound receiver and defensive back both accepts and cherishes. But it's not what defines him. He strives to make a name for himself.
"I hear what people say about me, yes," Broadus said. "But I don't let it bother me. It's not worth it. I can't control what the public talks about. If they only look at me as Snoop's son, and not Cordell Broadus, that's cool with me. They will learn about me though. I'm my own man.''
He has emerged from his father's fame and forged his own identity with the Brahmas (3-5 overall) this season. Heading into Friday's Hacienda League game against West Covina
, Broadus ranks among the team leaders in several categories on both sides of the ball.
He has 26 receptions for 322 yards and four touchdowns. He also returns kicks and plays different positions on defense.
He appears most comfortable back in the secondary, whether at the cornerback or safety spot. Due to his frame and well-rounded skill-set, Broadus has occasionally lined up at defensive end as well.
"Being my kid, and walking in my shadows, that's something you can't run from, Cordell knows that,'' said his dad, who has recently changed his stage name to Snoop Lion. "He's going to hear all of the criticism, whether it's constructive, bad or good. I give him credit, he's handled things. As a parent, you want the best for your kid and I see big things in Cordell's future.''
Dear old dad isn't the only one. UCLA offered Broadus a scholarship in the summer. Duke recently offered him as well. He's heard from other schools as well, most notably Florida State.
"I know what some people out there might be thinking," Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine said. "They hear the name Cordell Broadus, learn that he's Snoop Dogg's son and everyone just assumes he gets special treatment. That's not the case, we don't play favorites around at this school. Cordell has his own identity. He's his own person and wants to make a name for the Broadus family.
"I can tell you one thing about him that not many people know: he has a great work ethic. Cordell is the first player at practice and the last one to leave. You can't teach that stuff. The kid has this desire about him, this passion, I think he was born with it. He was leader from the start.''
His father said the drive wasn't always there. Cordell didn't even like football when Snoop Dog was coaching him in Pop Warner.
"I used to bribe him with money because he wasn't really into the game," he said. "Now that he's on his way to being a stud, I want my money back.
"I like watching him play high school ball. When I first went to his games, there was hype and paranoia when I would show up. All that has slowed down. I think people are starting to understand that I‘m a father who wants sit back and watch his kid succeed at something.''
That wasn't happening when Broadus started his prep career at Long Beach Poly, dad's alma mater. A change of scenery was in order, so Broadus along with fellow freshman
, transferred to Diamond Bar last season.
The duo played the final four games and were impressive enough, but even more was expected of them this season. Bell and Broadus have delivered.
With all the attention paid to Broadus, Bell has put up even bigger numbers with 36 catches for 676 yards and seven scores.
"Cordell makes everyone around him a better player,'' Bell said. "He catches almost everything that comes his way. It doesn't matter if they send double-coverage at him. He's big and long. Physical too. I think we have the chance to make a real name for ourselves here at Diamond Bar."
Snoop Dog's name has come in handy time to time. He arranged off-season workouts for Broadus with NFL standouts DeSean Jackson (Eagles) and Trent Richardson (Browns).
"I'm like a sponge around those guys, soaking up info,'' Broadus said.
He also stays in constant contact with his close family friend De'Anthony Thomas, a graduate of Crenshaw (Los Angeles) who is a Heisman candidate at Oregon. Snoop Dogg coached Thomas in Pop Warner and was largely responsible for giving him the nickname "Black Mamba."
"Over the next couple years, Cordell is going to be stronger and faster," his dad said. "He works hard at his craft. His mentality is to play at the next level and I think he'll be prepared. He will be ready for the jump because he has good people always looking out for him.
"You don't get someone like UCLA coach Jim Mora, with an NFL pedigree, saying that they want you to play football for him if you're not doing something right out there on the field. The way it looks right now, Cordell is going to get a free-ride to play college ball. After that, playing on Sundays as a pro is one of his dreams and I'm going to do whatever it takes to help him get there.''
More important, it appears Broadus is willing to pay the price.
"I'm ready to compete," Broadus said. "There's no quit in me. I think schools like UCLA and Duke, some others too, they see what kind of player I can be at the next level. The extra work is starting to pay off. Still, I have to go harder now. You have to be humble and hungry."
Traits not always associated with his father. But Broadus knows the truth. He's drawn more from his dad than his name.
"I get my work ethic from my dad," Broadus said. "He's a role model and always supports me. My mom and family support me too. I was taught that if you want something in life, you go after it and get it. I'm out here trying to make a name for myself and I won't stop until I get the job done.''
Sean Ceglinsky has covered prep and college sports in Southern California for the better part of the past 15-plus years. Follow him on twitter: @SeanCeglinsky