Naijiel Hale, the son of late rapper Nate Dogg (Nathaniel Hale), has committed to the Arizona Wildcats football team, he said Tuesday night.
Hale, a four-star cornerback from St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif., made the announcement on ESPNU during coverage of “The Opening,” which is a Nike all-star summer event held in Beaverton, Ore.
He put on a red Arizona hoodie after picking the Cats and said that coach Rich Rodriguez recruited him to play an unspecified role in the secondary.
Arizona had been considered a heavy favorite for Hale, who is rated the 28th-best cornerback in the nation and the 32nd-best player in California, according to 247Sports. He also had offers from Nebraska, Boise State, Arizona State and Cal, among others.
He is rated four stars (out of five) by 247Sports and Scout.com. Rivals.com lists him as a three-star recruit.
Hale (5-11, 170) made 50 tackles and four interceptions last season. Noted for his physical play, he made seven interceptions as a sophomore at Lakewood (Calif.) High School.
He told 247sports earlier this year that his uncle, Snoop Lion, helped steer him to football when he was 12. Snoop Lion, who gained fame under the name Snoop Dogg as a rapper/performer, has been active in coaching youth football and establishing youth leagues in Southern California.
“I know a lot of rappers,” Hale told 247Sports. “But I’m not really into that stuff. They’re good people to look up to but in reality, they’re not. That’s what my dad led me to think so that’s all I really want do is make my own name.
“Who wants to live off of their parents? That’s probably about 90 percent of my motivation is letting people know who I am in a different way.”
Hale has played on the same 7-on-7 team with Snoop Lion’s son, wide receiver Cordell Broadus, a member of the 2015 recruiting class who has offers from several Pac-12 schools (not Arizona at this point).
His high school teammate, four-star cornerback Jaleel Wadood, announced his commitment for Cal on the ESPNU telecast. Wadood previously was committed to Arizona State
Hale is the 12th commitment in Arizona’s 2014 class, including four four-star recruits, as rated by 247Sports.
Here is a look at the class, with ratings from three recruiting services:
|Devon Brewer||S||6-0||175||Central East, Fresno, Calif.||2||3||3|
|Rodney Carr||DB||6-0||185||Salesian High, Los Angeles||4||3||3|
|Cameron Denson||WR||6-1||170||Salpointe Catholic, Tucson||4||4||4|
|Tony Ellison||WR||5-11||170||Granite Bay (Calif.) High||3||2||1|
|Patrick Glover||CB||6-1||181||Scottsdale C.C.||NR||NR||NR|
|Jonathan Haden||RB||5-8||189||Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington D.C.||3||3||3|
|Naijiel Hale||CB||5-11||170||St. John Bosco High, Bellflower, Calif.||4||3||4|
|Kaige Lawrence||OL||6-4||290||Chaffey C.C., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.||3||3||2|
|Jordan Morgan||WR||6-2||200||Southridge High, Beaverton, Ore.||3||2||2|
|Josh Pollack||P/K||5-11||165||Highland Park (Ill.) High||NR||2||NR|
|Jace Whittaker||DB||5-9||150||Oceanside (Calif.) High||2||3||NR|
|Nick Wilson||RB||6-0||191||Central East, Fresno, Calif.||4||4||4|
— Naijiel Hale #7 (@YoungNateDogg) July 3, 2013