With all the coverage of college basketball during March Madness, you might have missed this uplifting story from Bleacher Report about a one-handed 5-year-old boy with some serious hoop skills.

Meet Jackson Connors, who was born with a right hand but has already mastered the crossover dribble. Jackson is a big Kentucky fan, and upon meeting John Calipari, the youngster impressed the Wildcats coach with his shooting form (as you can see the video below).

"I've known Jackson since he was born," Calipari says on the Bleacher Report feature. "I don't even think Jackson knows that, 'man, I'm a little different.' I think he looks at this and he doesn't see it as something that's going to hold him back. That's what makes this great and unique."

If you thought Willie Cauley-Stein was hard to defend on a basketball court, wait until you see him on the gridiron.

The 7-foot Kentucky star, a first-team All-SEC player, played one season for Olathe Northwest High School in Kansas. That year he tallied 64 receptions for 1,265 yards and 15 touchdowns. That's a staggering average of 20 yards per catch.

As his undefeated Wildcats prepare for the NCAA tournament and look to become the first team in four decades to go undefeated, several high school highlight tapes of Cauley-Stein have emerged. He looks like a man among boys:

Here's a good look at football highlights interspersed with basketball highlights:

At 7-feet tall, Cauley-Stein is about four inches taller than former Eagles wideout Harold Carmichael, who at 6-foot-8 was the tallest receiver to ever play in the NFL.

"You just can't imagine seeing a human being that size in pads," Olathe athletic director Jay Novacek told the Sporting News of Cauley-Stein. “Even though Willie was relatively skinny in high school, with just how much more massive he looked in pads and a helmet, you go from a seven-foot person to 7-5. It looked like a wall.”

But Cauley-Stein never got beyond high school football, in part because he had emerged as a blue chip basketball recruit before his senior year. In fact, Kentucky coach John Calipari watched Cauley-Stein from the sidelines several days before he committed to the Wildcats. With his future coach in attendance, Cauley-Stein caught a 57-yard touchdown pass and helped his team clinch a playoff berth.

In 2014 three players who had passed through Snoop Dogg's Youth Football League (SYFL) signed on with NFL teams, and as impressive as that number is, if last week's national signing day was any indication, we're likely to see many more SYFL alum playing on Sundays.

TMZ is reporting that 20 players who played in the SYFL have signed on to play for a Division I program.

Most notably is the rapper's son, Cordell Broadus, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. Broadus got his start playing football in his father's league and was coached by Snoop from ages 8 to 13.

USC commit Iman Marshall, the top rated cornerback in the class, is also a SYFL alum.


congrats to our SYFL Alum !!

A photo posted by Snoop Youth Football League (@snoopleague) on

Here's the complete list of players from the SYFL who have signed with Division I programs:

1. Donzell Roddie: Boise State
2. Kyahva Tezino: San Diego State
3. Jeremy Kelly: San Jose State
4. Damon Wright: Boise State
5. Kameron Powell: Washington State
6. Cordell Broadus: UCLA
7. Iman Marshall: USC
8. Shawn Wilson: Oregon State
9. Malik Psalms: Cal
10. Stanley Norman: Arizona State
11. Cameron Hayes: Hawaii
12. Kenya Bell: San Jose State
13. Justin Calhoun: Montana State
14. Jeremy Calhoun: Montana State
15. Taj Jones: Idaho State
16. Mike Bell: Fresno State
17. Jericho Flowers: UNLV
18. Kevin Scott: USC
19. Dominique Davis: USC
20. Jaelon Barnwell: Alabama State University

The league started in 2005 and has ballooned to a reported size of 1,700 players.

"I’m extremely proud to have coached and mentored these young men," SYFL commissioner Haamid Wadood told TMZ. "I speak on behalf of Snoop and my entire SYFL staff and all the coaches and volunteers. We just want to thank the parents for trusting in us and believing in us in building a foundation for these kids in giving them the opportunity for helping them achieve their goals on becoming a great player and teammates."

Ronnie Hillman (2012 Denver Broncos) and De'Anthony Thomas (2014 Kansas City Chiefs) were the first SYFL alum to get drafted. Last year two other players, Kam Jackson (Indianapolis Colts) and Greg Ducre (San Diego Chargers) also signed on with NFL teams.

"Our kids, they go hard," Snoop told TMZ last year. “They know what they want in life. When they get to the position where they can go to the level they try their best. They really put in the work to get to the next level. I expect many more to follow that. In the next 10 years, I see 50 kids from SYFL play in the NFL."

At this rate, that just might happen.

College football recruiting classes are built over a process that takes years. And yet, as we approach National Signing Day -- which has evolved from an administrative date into a quasi-holiday for rabid fans, complete with media coverage -- so much remains unsettled.

For prospects and coaches, the final days can be chaotic.

"Coaches start taking Red Bulls intravenously, they start wearing slip-on shoes so they can get through the airport faster, they run around with their hair on fire," says Josh Helmholdt, Rivals.com's Midwest Analyst. "It’s one of the most hectic times for the industry.

"So much is happening. ... Prospects start listening to people they’ve never listened to before … you start seeing strange decommitments and recommitments because you’re seeing 18-year-old kids making major life decisions, and the weight of those decisions is starting to be felt."

Not every college football program is in the same boat. Schools like Alabama are sitting pretty with 26 commits, so while a late add or loss is still a possibility, neither result is likely to affect the larger picture all that much.

But others are scrambling. LSU only has 18 verbal commitments, and while 10 of them are four- or five-star talents -- enough to lift the Tigers to No. 13 in the Rivals.com team rankings -- there are plenty of scholarship slots to be filled. Michigan State's impressive bowl win over Baylor hasn't translated to a bevy of commitments, as the program has just 16 commitments on board, and none of them bearing a five-star rating.

The Spartans are in a much better situation than Michigan, though, which replaced Brady Hoke with Jim Harbaugh after the NFL regular season ended. The Wolverines are hurtling toward National Signing Day with just nine verbal commitments -- the eighth-lowest figure out of 128 FBS teams. The class currently ranks a lowly 75th.

NSD is on Feb. 4. For most programs, there is plenty of work to be done between then and now. The last week of the pre-signing day season can be utter chaos for both high school prospects and the programs recruiting them: offers are made, sales pitches are given, prospects narrow down their choices and commit -- if they haven't done so already.

In some cases, players with standing commitments to one school will make secret visits or listen to coaches from other schools. Coaches don't respect verbal commitments as binding deals, and they're eager to poach a talented player when the opportunity arises. When players do say no to a program, those coaches turn their attentions elsewhere, scouting new options and zeroing in on strange targets.

It's not a pretty process, but it works itself out in the end. And Signing Day is the day of reckoning for each program's year of recruiting.

"The last week and week and a half, and even Signing Day, it makes a huge difference on how a recruiting class can be viewed," says Blair Angulo, the Rivals.com West Coast Analyst.

Angulo uses USC for an example of what a strong finish can do for a school. Last year, the Trojans brought in Steve Sarkisian from Washington as their new head coach. Sarkisian essentially had a month-and-a-half to cobble together a recruiting class -- an uphill battle for any coach.

Entering Signing Day, the class looked ho-hum. Then the Trojans picked up two five-star commits and two more four-star signings, launching their recruiting class to No. 10 overall, according to Rivals.


The victory of those signings is more than the caliber of the athletes themselves. USC dominated on the most visible day of the recruiting season, when every major sports outlet is dedicated to recruiting coverage.

The momentum from that class has carried over into 2015: USC currently has 20 verbal commitments and ranks as the No. 2 class overall.

USC's early success hasn't diminished the important of this year's Signing Day, though. The Trojans have as many as four major targets that won't announce their commitments until signing day, creating a likely surplus of players.

The numbers crunch, though, is well worth the headache -- not to mention the inherent risks in maintaining a commitment to a prospect so late in the game. Currently, three of the top four members of the 2015 recruiting class -- Byron Cowart, Iman Marshall, and Martez Ivey -- are undecided on which school they will attend. Those decisions could come on Signing Day or even extend longer into February.

In two of those three cases, Auburn and Florida are going head-to-head as the favorites. That matchup is a partial product of scouting: both schools have done a thorough examination of the prospects and pegged them as strong fits for their respective systems.

But there's also a competitive edge to things: Auburn and Florida are conference rivals, and Florida's just-fired coach, Will Muschamp, is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn.

"Michigan stole Zack Gentry from Texas (last) weekend," Helmsworth says, noting how staff changes can change prospect interests. "They were able to get him to visit and switch his commitment.

"A month ago, nobody foresaw that at all. A new coach brings in new recruiting relationships."

Programs aren't going to attack an opponent just for the sake of attacking, though. Angulo argues that it's more about maintaining a presence in established recruiting hotbeds, and this territorial approach naturally leads to conflict. UCLA, for example, has found itself matched up against Notre Dame in years past, and the Bruins have managed to come out the victor most of the time.


But in the last couple of years, that dynamic has flipped: Notre Dame is trying to re-establish itself in those areas it targets with UCLA, and the Fighting Irish are having success. Things are even more muddled in Texas, where a struggling Longhorns program, combined with the rise of in-state competitors Baylor and TCU, have turned the state from a Longhorns-dominated hotbed into a scene of total chaos.

Coaching changes can be natural targets for competition because the staff transitions often leave recruits less secure with their decision. Competing schools recognize that commitments in those cases are likely to waver, and they try to take advantage. Michigan's Jim Harbaugh has done exactly that with Big Ten institution Nebraska. Both programs endured coaching changes, meaning the commitments they've carried over from the past coaching staff may be reconsidering their decisions.

"You can’t ignore the fact that a certain school will go after a recruit from another school, especially a conference rival," Angulo says. But the Wolverine's moves are more urgency than agenda: "We've seen Michigan go after everyone, sending offers left and right to anyone who will listen."

For schools with small classes and time running short, the key is not getting desperate. It's not worth using a scholarship spot just to bring in a player who will never play or contribute to the team. Programs are looking for the right fit, not just a warm body.

Michigan might have to settle for a small, sub-par class and hope that it can make up for those results with next year's class. It'll have to sit back as schools like USC get richer and richer in the lead-up to National Signing Day, with several of the top players waiting until that day to pledge their commitment.

"For the last guys available, these guys are the icing on the cake," Helmsworth says. "Very few coaches are thinking, 'If we don't get this guy, it’s a huge hole on our roster.' These are the difference-makers."

And because National Signing Day functions as a day-long televised event, the publicity gains can't be ignored.

"When you win Signing Day, it helps you that day, but it helps you in the future, too," Angulo says. "Because top recruits want to play with other top recruits."

In 1990, Buzz Bissinger introduced the world to the Permian Panthers with his book, "Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream." In 2004 the film version, featuring Billy Bob Thornton, was released, and two years later, a fictional TV series helped turn Smash Williams, Tim Riggins and Matt Saracen into household names.

One thing that the book, movie and TV show all did was show just how big Texas high school football is. But the fervor for the game begins even earlier, and that's where "Friday Night Tykes" comes in. The Esquire Network show, which begins its second season Tuesday, dives into Texas youth football.

"This is real,"producer Matt Maranz says. "This is not a reality show. When you hear the term reality show, you think this is not real. This is a documentary. This is real life. Everything that is happening was happening before we got there."

"Friday Night Tykes" follows five youth football teams of 10- and 11-year-olds in the San Antonio area. Many of the teams feature players, coaches and parents from the first season, which documented the 9-year-old division.

In taping two seasons, Maranz finds the story of Texas youth football is not about the X's and O's on the field. It is not about the glaring fact the state produces some of the greatest players in the sport. It is about the spectators.

"While Friday Night Tykes is about youth football and youth sports, I really think it's most about parenting," Maranz says. "It's really about asking questions every parents asks. What should we let our kids do with youth sports? How far is too far?"

Friday Night Tykes follows the San Antonio Division of the Texas Youth Football Association, one of the higher levels of competition for youth football stars.

"If there was an NFL for 10-years-olds, some of these guys would be in the NFL and be stars," Maranz says.

One aspect of youth football, and to a larger degree youth sports, the show captures is the intensity of coaches. The first season proved witness to coaches scolding players and arguing with opposing coaches. This may all just be part of the sport.

"They come to our league in order to put their players through the highest pedigree," says Brian Morgan, CEO and president of the Texas Youth Football and Cheer Association. "I think they expect the coaches to get in your face."

Maranz and Morgan both admit the show garnered mixed reviews among casual viewers and those within the Texas Youth Football community. Youth sports can be a touchy subject. Some individuals enjoy seeing the inside aspects, while others are turned off by the coach-player relationship among youth teams. But Maranz does not think people can ignore the importance of youth sports.

"Youth football and specifically youth sports in general, it's a gigantic activity," Maranz says. "Outside of school, it's the largest extracurricular activity for children across America. There are millions of Americans kids playing youth sports. We're looking at youth sports. Is youth sports doing everything it's supposed to do?"

From a "Friday Night Tykes" perspective, it all circles back to the mothers and fathers of the players. From volunteer coaches to spectators, the parents are the individuals choosing to send their children out on youth fields and courts at varying levels. The program attempts to analyze the plight of parents from an objective perspective.

"There are some moments where adults create memories that kids will remember for a lifetime," Maranz says. "Then there are other points that make you think should these parents really be coaches. The focus is kind of shifting toward the parents. What we find really interesting is youth sports is an environment created for children, but it's created by the parents. Is youth sports really about the kids or is it really about the parents? I think we saw some things parents were doing that made us think who is this for? What is it really about?"

The balance between the good and bad influence of parents on youth sports is evident. "Friday Night Tykes" gives this idea a personal presence. The first season included examples of positive sportsmanship and athletic spirit that parents, for the most part, seek for their children.

"From my point of view, I think last year's episode when Coach Marecus [Goodloe] arranged with the coach from the other team for a kid with a disability to score a touchdown was a great moment," Morgan says. "I think it shows it's not all about hitting. It's about creating memories for a child for a lifetime."

In doing publicity for this season's premiere, Maranz and Morgan sat on a panel in New York City with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap and former NFL players Bart Scott and Tiki Barber.

"I talked to Bart, who is from Detroit, and he said that's just like how my coaches were, getting up in my face," Morgan says. "Tiki said where he played ball in Virginia, they didn’t have coaches like that, but he understands coaches act in different ways."

Added Maranz: "They hit the lottery when it came to football. Bart was from inner city Detroit. He's used to coaches yelling at him. Tiki came from more of a suburban background and I think he was taken aback by it more."

Morgan notes that while many of the players in the show will have their futures determined by puberty, high school coaches can be found mingling with parents and coaches, starting to recruit 10- and 11-year-olds to their elite programs. "Friday Night Tykes" hits on the process of developing football players at the youth level, before growth spurts and before children have the means of envisioning their long-term future. It is the parents who make the early decisions.

"I think we're showing one example of what youth sports can be," Maranz says. "It's an extreme example, but people get look for themselves."

The first of 10 episodes premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Esquire Network.

It's clear Muhammad Ali had athleticism in his DNA. One of his daughters, Laila Ali, was a professional boxer who went a perfect 24-0 in her career.

Now, one of Ali's grandchildren is emerging as a talented young football star. Just finished with his sophomore season, Biaggio Ali Walsh has established himself as a star in the making. The running back rushed for 600 yards this year while competing for Las Vegas' famed Bishop Gorman football team. That squad, which has won six straight state championships, is ranked No. 1 in the country by several news outlets.

Bishop Gorman's roster also features Cordell Broadus, a four-star wideout and the son of rapper Snoop Dogg. Walsh's numbers in just his sophomore campaign bode well for his future -- Rivals.com reports interest from several prominent programs, including UCLA and Arizona.

And it's a safe bet that Grandpa couldn't be more excited. He was in-person to watch Bishop Gorman's latest championship, and if Walsh's Instagram account is any indication, the two have a close bond:


"You're still pretty pops"

A photo posted by Biaggio Ali Walsh (@biaggioaliwalsh) on


Reading about yourself? I see you pops...

A photo posted by Biaggio Ali Walsh (@biaggioaliwalsh) on

Recent reports have suggested Muhammad Ali's health has suffered some setbacks recently, but his family says the boxing legend is on the road to recovery. Hopefully he gets to watch first-hand as Walsh's career continues to blossom.

D.J. Harvey is a 6-6 high school sensation at traditional Washington powerhouse DeMatha Catholic, and as Keith Jackson used to say, "He's ooonnnllly a soph-o-more!"

Harvey, who already has big-time college programs interested, nearly knocked himself out in a recent game when he jumped so high trying to block a shot that his head crashed into the backboard.

The play occurred during DeMatha's 51-47 win against St. John's on Dec. 3. It is just starting to make the rounds on the Internet as photographer Brian Kapur realized he had captured the moment of impact:


Harvey is ranked 17th nationally among players in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals.com.

Looks like this is a classic case of a player being so good that he can only stop himself.

Only 18 girls have ever played in the Little League World Series. But none of them come close to matching the success of Mo'ne Davis, who rose to fame this summer by pitching a shutout in the tournament -- a feat unmatched by any other girl.

Despite her performance, Davis has insisted that basketball is her better sport. Now, there's video evidence to prove she might be right.

Still just an eighth-grader, Davis is already on the high school varsity roster at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. And she's logging heavy minutes, too, as the team's point guard and primary ball-handler. The first minute of the clip is just warmups, but then you can see her in game action, which includes a nice crossover dribble and a slick bounce pass.

As noted by MaxPreps, Davis' team went on to suffer its first loss in the season against the team featured in the video, and Davis only notched four points in the game. But we're talking about a girl who is playing on varsity before she's even able to attend high school.

It's a pretty safe bet that as Davis adjusts to the high school game, she'll grow into a dominant force.

No wonder UConn's Geno Auriemma was eager to break NCAA rules (however ridiculous they might be) with a congratulatory phone call over the summer.

After his final high school football game, the wide receiver embraced his mother while his father beamed. Two beefy security guards provided protection from a circle of onlookers, and an ESPN documentary crew captured the scene.

You draw that kind of attention when your father is Calvin Broadus -- aka Snoop Dogg.

"I might just be a celebrity's son,” Cordell Broadus said. "But in reality I'm really out here grinding it and trying to make a name for myself on the field."

Broadus, the 17-year-old son of the hip hop star, is well on his way to creating his own identity on the gridiron.

The 6-3, 195-pounder is the 19th best receiver in the country and a four-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, who has his pick of colleges.

While helping lead Bishop Gorman High to the Nevada Division I state championship, he caught 39 passes for 602 yards and 11 touchdowns.

His father, who burst on the scene with The Chronic album at the age of 21, ranked Cordell’s achievements ahead of his own lofty marks, noting he refrained from playing high school football because he did not want to put in the work.

"He's doing things that I could've never done at his age," Snoop Dogg said. "He’s doing way better than me."

In recognition of Cordell’s accomplishments, the senior with 4.55 speed in the 40 was selected to the Under Armour All-America Game, the annual all-star game that features the 90 best seniors in the country.

“His skill level definitely warrants all the notoriety he keeps getting," said St. John Bosco head coach Jason Negro. "His dad has no bearing on his ability to get recruited or play on the next level."

Coach Negro saw Cordell’s soft hands, large frame and ability to separate from defenders firsthand during a Sept. 26 game between his Bosco team -- which was led by QB Josh Rosen, the nation’s highest ranked prospect -- and Bishop Gorman.

On the second play of the game televised nationally on ESPN, Cordell set the tone.

He took off on a vertical route, made a move to blow by the Bosco cornerback and adjusted to an underthrown ball to haul in the pass for 18 of his 66 yards during Gorman's 34-31 victory, Bosco’s first loss since November 2012.

"It was a pretty big moment in the game," Negro said. "We were playing catch-up the rest of the night."

No one caught Gorman during its state championship campaign.

Cordell scored the first points in the Dec. 6 title game against Reed High, catching a six-yard touchdown in the left corner of the end zone. He caught a fourth quarter touchdown from about the same spot to cap his high school career triumphantly.

"He can become a really, really good college football player,” said Tony Sanchez, the Gorman coach who guided the Gaels to the title.

***

Cordell started playing football as a 6-year-old in the Snoop Youth Football League, where he played alongside future NFL players like De'Anthony Thomas and Ronnie Hillman. From ages 8 to 13, Cordell was coached by his father.

Snoop had the receiver play offensive line, so he could hone his blocking. He threw the ball hard at his young son, expecting him to catch each pass.

"He made my hands strong at a young age," Cordell said.

Snoop taught his players to be aggressive but exhibit good sportsmanship and respect coaching. When they knocked someone down, they had to help them back up. On back of their shirts, they had three words emblazoned: Discipline, Dedication and Desire.

"With those three things," Snoop said, "you can accomplish anything on and off the field."

Kids were given an avenue through his football league, an endeavor he started in 2005 and one in which Snoop remains passionately involved.

“He takes it very serious," Thomas said.

Although the league may have produced stars and have a flashy founder, much of the appeal was because of its value. When the league formed, entrance fees cost $100, siblings received 50 percent off, and most of the teams were located in inner-city neighborhoods. More than 1,000 needy, South Los Angeles kids signed up.

“A lot of the kids in the inner city didn’t really have fathers in their life," Cordell said. "He provided that for those kids.”

The night before gamedays, Cordell remembers as many as 10 youth league players crashing at their house. They were from different backgrounds, and Cordell remains close with many of them.

"It was just a loving environment," Cordell said. “They were just so happy. He took care of them like they were his kids."

***

Last year Snoop Dogg moved his family from Southern California to Las Vegas after he accepted a DJ gig at Tao nightclub.

"We feel like Vegas is more like home now," said Cordell, though he noted his mother, Shante, and younger sister, Cori, sometimes travel back to California.

Once the Broadus clan made the move to Nevada, Cordell transferred from Diamond Bar (Calif.) High to Gorman in January 2014 and practiced with the team in the spring.

Attending the Catholic high school, which went 85-5 en route to winning six consecutive state titles, was an obvious decision for Cordell. Ranked No. 1 in the USA Today poll, the 2014 team finished 15-0 and outscored its opponents 776-184.

"Best high school team I've seen this year," Negro said, "without a doubt."

At Gorman, Cordell also found a setting that featured many student-athletes with famous parents. Julian Payton, son of NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton, plays on the basketball team. Chase Maddux, son of MLB Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, plays on the baseball team. Randall Cunningham II, son of the former NFL star, quarterbacked the Gorman team last year before moving on to USC.

Perhaps the most distinguished lineage belongs to Biaggio Walsh. The speedy sophomore running back is the grandson of Muhammad Ali, who attended the state title game.

Cordell and Walsh became friends after Snoop performed at Ali's Vegas birthday party two years ago. Cordell calls Walsh his "little cousin" and imparts advice on football, workouts and the college recruiting process.

Along with other noted sons of celebrities, Cordell has embraced the environment at the athletic powerhouse.

"Bishop Gorman is a good fit because the coaches were going to get after us no matter who we were, how much money our parents make," Cordell said.

Coach Sanchez got after Cordell when he missed school on the Monday after a weekend recruiting visit to Arizona State. He never notified the school that he was sick, so Sanchez, who was also Gorman’s dean of students, suspended him from that week's game and banned him from social media.

Despite that misstep those inside and outside the program praised Cordell’s character, pointing to the hard-working player who regularly stayed 30 minutes after practice to catch extra passes with star tight end Alize Jones, who will attend UCLA next year.

Asked if this season's opponents talked trash about his father, Cordell declined to elaborate but said he just blocked it out when they mentioned Snoop.

When Cordell first enrolled, his father also was the talk of the Gorman hallways.

“All the students, they reacted like, ‘Oh, it’s Snoop Dogg’s son,'" said Arizona State defensive back Armand Perry, who graduated from Gorman last year. “But he took it really well, really humble, and now the students there, I’m pretty sure they just know him as Cordell.”

Or they call him Channel 21, a reference to his jersey number.

Sporting Gorman garb, Snoop watched every one of his son's games from the stands except for two contests. Fans approached him for autographs or selfies, but they also respected his privacy whenever he informed them that he needed to concentrate on watching his son.

After attending a couple of games, Snoop thought the school needed a more uplifting pep song.

"We listened to the music at the games," Snoop said, “and it was like it was missing something."

That inspired Snoop and Flavor Flav to hit the studio and create "Move Them Chains," a theme song the school adopted.

***

Cordell dabbles in music for fun, helping his brother Corde "Spanky Danky" with his music videos. But Cordell wants football -- not music -- to be his future, and it's a path Snoop endorses.

"I believe he can make it in whatever he wants to do, but I would rather him do something that’s completely him,” Snoop said. “That’s what football gives him -- a chance to be out of my shadow and create his own life.”

Cordell is also very interested in photography and making movies and hopes to open a restaurant one day. As a result he is looking at colleges that have strong film and business departments.

He also wants a school where he can receive playing time as a freshman and where he can "grow as an individual on and off the field.”

In no particular order, he listed his possible destinations as Arizona State, Arizona, UCLA, Oregon State or LSU. Cordell plans to choose one of those schools on Signing Day on Feb. 4.

One notable omission is USC, a football program his father closely follows, and where Cordell's cousin, DeShaun Hill, played defensive back from 2000–2002.

"I'm a fan of the school, but if you're going to try to get a 17-year-old kid," Snoop said, "you've got to sell him the dream that all the other schools are selling, you know what I’m saying? You can’t tell him that your father's a great fan of the school … He doesn't give a damn about that."

Another notable omission is UNLV, the local school that just named Sanchez its head coach.

Sanchez will try to prove himself on the next level after making the unusual jump from the high school ranks -- albeit guiding the nation’s top program -- to leading a Division I football school.

"His number was called,” Perry said. “He felt like it was time for him to crank it up a notch."

The competition also will intensify for Cordell next season as he tries to continue to earn recognition as wide receiver Cordell Broadus -- and not just Snoop Dogg’s son.

“That is his main focus,” Thomas said, "to just build a name for himself."

There have been a few instances of blind people playing high school basketball in recent years, but nobody is doing it the way Christian King is.

He is legally blind -- without any correctional lenses, King can't see much beyond the end of his nose.

And all of his teammates are deaf.

As featured in a lengthy News Leader profile, King has secured a contributing role for the team at Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind.

King, who hadn't even played competitive sports until a few years ago, has a different level of impairment in each eye -- positive-9 vision in the left eye and negative-11 in his right.

Even when he is on the court, King struggles to see everything that is happening. From one end of the court, the opposite end is a blur. When the basketball is passed into the post, King struggles to see what is going on.

King asked his deaf teammates not to treat him different because of his blindness. Sometimes that means getting hit in the face with a hard pass. Other times it means pushing the ball on a fast break while King moves slower up the court. King is reluctant to be too aggressive on the court, although with time his confidence may grow.

The freshman hasn't scored in a game yet, but he is getting playing time and opportunities. Although the team still plays against regular public and private schools, which can be a significant challenge, King is hopeful that he'll score sometime this season, and that he'll gradually get the hang of a new sport. He is learning sign language to communicate with his deaf teammates, but has an interpreter in the meantime.

"I've definitely gotten along with everyone on the team and I'm adapting well to it," King told the News Leader.

The full story on Christian King in the News Leader can be read here.

In the meantime, any sports fan can appreciate the effort King is making -- not only to play basketball, but to live without limitations.

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