Josh Jarboe will either be chosen late in this year’s NFL Draft or be at least invited to a team’s training camp. However, the former Arkansas State receiver’s college career almost ended before it started thanks to his past rapper aspirations.
The New York Times has a length story on Jarboe’s resurgence to NFL prospect after his college football career was almost doomed. Five years ago, a freestyle video that featured Jarboe rapping about guns, violence and s-x, before his freshman year at Oklahoma University, went viral cost him his scholarship. He eventually went through four colleges in five years before starring at Arkansas State.
Since leaving his sketchy neighborhood on the eastern edge of Atlanta, a hip-hop incubator where he played in strip clubs during high school and regularly ran into rap stars like Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka, Jarboe has landed in a series of decidedly un-urban outposts: Norman, Okla.; Troy, Ala.; Boonesville, Miss.; and now Jonesboro. It is one of the strangest, most circuitous routes of any player preparing for the draft. It is a path crossed by rap and guns — then rapping about guns, recorded in a dormitory lobby on an Oklahoma teammate’s cellphone and posted on YouTube. The video ignited an early national debate on privacy and social media. It also nearly extinguished Jarboe’s career.
That was followed by an expulsion in Alabama, a rock-bottom stint at a junior college in Mississippi, and then resurrection in Arkansas by the coach at the center of the book and movie “The Blind Side.”
Jarboe’s story is fascinating. For example, his father was a pimp, and has 19 children with six different women. Also, Jarboe sports gold fronts because he lost teeth after the rap group he was in back in his high school days got into a fight with Waka Flocka Flame‘s crew.
To be clear, the story doesn’t insinuate that his rap dreams are what specifically lead Jarboe off course. The piece details all the wayward influences, and his own immaturity, that almost sabotaged his promising future.
The 2013 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 25 and ends Saturday, April 27.
Read the entire story over at the New York Times.
Photo: The New York Times