Justin Combs, Son of Diddy, Emerging as Football Recruit
Justin Combs is the son of famed music and entertainment mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. But instead of working in the music studio, “Little Diddy” is doing his business on the gridiron and is drawing interest from some high-profile college football teams.
The younger Combs will enter his senior year of high school at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, NY, this fall. He is a 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback who is starting to gain notice in recruiting circles for the class of 2012. Combs piqued interested by performing well at the New Level 7-on-7 national championship, where he earned All-Tournament honors.
Scout.com has reported over the past few months that Virginia, UAB, Middle Tennessee and Wyoming have offered Combs scholarships, while Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, UCLA, Arizona State and Cincinnati have shown interest. Scout reported last week that Illinois also offered Combs a scholarship, and there appears to be a very real possibility he ends up in Champaign.
“I talked to the coach at Illinois, and they told me that they were going to give me an offer,” Combs said, according to Scout. “They seemed very excited. We talked about the academics, the football team, the campus, the life there and stuff like that just so I could know a little bit about it. I am going to go out there and see the campus soon before my season.”
And don’t count out Auburn, which Combs has visited and has another reason besides playing for an SEC power to head South.
“I have family in Alabama, and I want to be closer to them,” Combs told the Birmingham News.
We’re sure that it won’t be a problem for the younger Combs to jet-set around the country while looking at schools. His father’s fame and fortune that resulted from founding Bad Boy Records in 1993, has allowed Justin Combs to live the life of a hip-hop prince.
But according to the younger Combs, being the son of Diddy isn’t always easy - at least, when it comes to earning respect on the football field.
‘‘It’s really tough, to be honest,’’ Combs told the Birmingham News in April. ‘‘It’s hard to be taken seriously at football because people think I can have anything I want.”
But if he’s like his father in this respect, the younger Combs will take what he wants. Sean Combs made his way in the music industry by being relentless. The Harlem-born Combs started as a talent director at Uptown Records and now is one of the most-recognizable names - even if he has many of them - in the world.
There’s the money, women - remember Jennifer Lopez? - and perks of being Diddy. The elder Combs has built an empire from the ground up, turning success in the music business into a multi-faceted portfolio that includes a clothing line, movie production company and restaurants. One of those restaurants is named “Justin’s” after the budding football star.
And though being P. Diddy’s son has its draw backs, the younger Combs is facing them head on.
“Ever since I was young, my father always told me that people were going to have something to say,” Combs told Scout. “At the end of the day, it is all fun and games to try to get you out of your game, but you just have to stay mentally strong and be able to play through it.
“You just shut them up with your ability on the field. Just play and your game will speak for itself. That is the way I feel.”
Combs told the Birmingham News that he looks forward to proving himself against all levels of competition, saying that playing against top-level players in southern states like Alabama or Florida is what he dreams about.
And while the elder Combs played football in high school before attending Howard University, he never played college ball. Instead, he emerged as Puff Daddy and signed the Notorious B.I.G., one of hip-hop’s all-time greats.
It looks like Justin is on his way to reaching his own ambitions.
“It is just the stuff you dream about as a kid,” Justin Combs said, according to Scout. “Getting letters in the mail and having coaches call you. It is the stuff you hear about, it is actually happening.”
It appears that Combs will have a legitimate Division I college career unlike Romeo Miller, the son of Percy Miller (a.k.a. “Master P”), who landed at USC’s basketball program as a package deal with star recruit Demar Derozan in 2008, only to leave the program after two years having hardly played.
Combs is determined to prove he’s more than just a famous son.
“I just want to show my hard work and how it pays off and to show that I deserve that spot and I deserve that scholarship.”
One more perk of recruiting Justin Combs? With his dad valued at a net worth of $475 million, NCAA violations such as selling his memorabilia for cash shouldn’t be a problem.