A 10-year-old social media sensation, most commonly known as ‘Baby Gronk,’ has been billed as college football’s ‘next big thing’ and has even been spotted hanging out with Olivia Dunne, actor Mark Wahlberg and sitting courtside at NBA games.
For most of the past few months, Madden San Miguel has been driven around the most popular college towns in the USA by his father, Jake, to unofficially tour where he might play when he turns 18, participating in youth instructional football camps.
For those who don’t know, ‘Baby Gronk’ is turning into somewhat of a social media influencer, amassing thousands of followers on Instagram.
He’s also considered to be noticeably bigger and heavier than most kids his age and uses his large frame to get by opponents, leading his followers to believe that many college football programs across the country are already interested in trying to seriously recruit him.
On Instagram, he’s shared pictures of himself posing with ex-NBA star and media personality Shaquille O’Neal, actor and producer Mark Wahlberg, and Olivia Dunne, a college gymnastics star for LSU who’s also signed lucrative NIL deals after going viral on social media for her talent and looks.
‘I’ve had a plan for my son since before he was born,’ ‘Baby Gronk’s’ father told The Athletic. ‘It’s playing out now.’
But what exactly is all the hype behind this elementary school football prodigy? Is he even good? How did he get access to all of these celebrities? And are colleges and universities actually trying to recruit him at such a tender age?
Here, DailyMail.com takes a look at college football’s ‘next big thing’…
Madden San Miguel, a.k.a ‘Baby Gronk,’ has gone viral on social media just like Livvy Dunne (R)
The 10-year-old’s been billed as football’s ‘next big star’, touring several colleges this summer
‘Baby Gronk’s’ already met several celebrities during his rise to fame, including Mark Wahlberg
Who is he?
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Madden San Miguel, a.k.a. ‘Baby Gronk,’ is a 10-year-old football prodigy who’s commonly referred to as a ‘baby’ version of retired NFL star Rob Gronkowsi, also known as ‘Gronk.’
And despite still being years away from graduating high school, ‘Baby Gronk’s’ dad, Jake, has taken the fourth-grader across the country for unofficial visits to different colleges and universities.
Madden’s also familiar with the pressure that comes with being labelled as the ‘next big thing’ in American sports. He’s been called a ‘future football SUPERSTAR’ since he was six-year-old and has more than 319k followers on his verified Instagram account.
The child sensation also plays five sports, according to his father, and stands at four-feet-nine and weights 88 pounds, per Sportskeeda.
‘He’s a really humble kid,’ Jake San Miguel told The Athletic. ‘A lot of people don’t know this about him, but he is a better baseball player than football player. He’s a really humble kid. Straight-A student.
‘The internet shows one thing, but he is the kid you want at your house. He’s that kid.’
Jake’s grandfather was incarcerated for murder and his dad’s been locked up behind bars too, according to Bay News 9. ‘Baby Gronk’s’ father told the Florida-base outlet that he’s ‘trying to break the family curse.’ Madden is also believed to have a sister.
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Baby Gronk’s relatively young career is managed by father, Jake (L)
Baby’s Gronk’s been called a ‘future football superstar’ since he was six (pictured at home)
How did he get famous?
Created three years ago, ‘Baby Gronk’s’ Instagram account is managed by his father, who posts content of his son on a daily basis. Jake previously revealed that he had a blueprint for his son before he was even born.
‘I was talking about how I was gonna train him, how I was gonna discipline him, how I was gonna build character, how I was gonna build work ethic,’ the 36-year-old told Bay News 9 in Tampa, Florida, in January.
What he ended up building, for now, is an internet superstar, and people can’t seem to get enough of ‘Baby Gronk’ towering over kids his age and going out to dominate them on a football field.
As Madden’s social media accounts grew so did the popularity of Baby Gronk, having already signed endorsement deals and hung out with NFL stars, rappers and even Miss Florida.
‘I used to be in the music industry,’ Jake, Madden’s father, told The Athletic. ‘I already knew how to market and promote and work the internet. I knew what I was doing. I was a high school star — like the Boobie Miles story (in ‘Friday Night Lights’) — but I know how to train kids and make kids good at sports.
‘I knew my son was going to be pretty good at sports because he was going to be around it. I put the music industry with the athlete and I saw the NIL was coming and I saw the climate was changing. […] I’m pretty good at this internet stuff.’
Although Madden’s yet to meet Rob Gronkowski, a hang out is in the works. ‘Baby Gronk’ has grown his social media platform through viral videos like when he pulled a pickup truck with a rope, which got more then 20M views. He’s not look back since then.
He has also enjoyed success on the field, winning a 8-U National Flag Football title in Tampa
Baby Gronk’s racked up several NIL deals and hung out with NFL stars, rappers & Miss Florida
Who’s he been seen with?
With more than 130k subscribers on YouTube, and a little more than double than that on Instagram, ‘Baby Gronk’ has been offered to meet several celebrities, former NFL pros and current athletes, due to his rising fame but also his father’s connections.
‘The gym we work out in, all the celebrities and NFL players go there,’ Jake told The Athletic. ‘I have met Tony Pollard, Derrick Henry, I’ve met Julius Randle over there. (Ezekiel Elliott) and Dak (Prescott) live close to us. My friend is Dak’s personal barber, so he cuts Dak, (Michael) Gallup, Pollard. I know Amari Cooper. I’ve been around.’
The fourth-grader’s even posed for a snap with Shaquille O’Neal at an NBA game, courtside, involving the Houston Rockets. He’s also met Olivia Dunne, who he has a ‘crush’ on and even ‘asked out to prom.
‘He met her on [LSU’s] campus. … We know her,’ Jake further told The Athletic about his son’s meet-and-greet with the LSU gymnastics star, who boasts 4.1M followers on Instagram. ‘[Through] mutual friends.’
‘Baby Gronk’ also met two-time Academy Award nominee, actor and producer, Mark Wahlberg and has also posed for snaps with rapper Fetty Wap, as well as New York Yankees star, Aaron Judge, and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Among popular football players, Madden’s met Mykal Walker, of the Atlanta Falcons, Missouri’s Luther Burden and Evan Steward, of Texas A&M.
Baby Gronk hung out with many athletes, such as the Yankees’ Aaron Judge due to his fame
Baby Gronk sat courtside with ex-NBA player Shaquille O’Neal at a Houston Rockets game
Is he actually any good?
Despite finding himself under the spotlight, Madden has enjoyed success on the field, having participated in an 8-U National Flag Football Championship in Tampa, Florida.
His team from Frisco, Texas – a suburb of Dallas – went a perfect six and won their age group, with ‘Baby Gronk’ playing a key role in his side’s run to claim it all. Other than that, not much is known about football’s ‘next big thing’ due to his young age, but he’s destined to reach the top, according to his father.
‘He moves better than high schoolers. He just doesn’t have the same body,’ Jake told The Athletic. ‘He plays three grades up. When he comes to the field, he’s the real deal. You have to think about this. He has this big following and platform, so when he plays against kids, they are waiting to get a highlight on him so they can post it.
‘We have been doing this for four years. There’s a reason there are no highlights on him. He really puts in a lot of work. It’s not just for content. We put five or six days a week of training. He diets, he eats clean foods, salmon and brown rice. He is in a routine. He’s a real athlete. He’s not a normal kid.
‘Normal kids are emotional. They put their head down when they make mistakes, talk back to the coaches, they make noises, but he doesn’t do that. He has been trained and programmed since he was six years old.’
Baby Gronk stands at 4ft 9ins and weighs 88 pounds, much more than most kids his age
‘Baby Gronk’s’ social media accounts and popularity grew while he took unofficial visits to schools with prestigious football programs, like the University of Florida, the University of Texas and the University of Kentucky, where he would get on the field for workouts.
In second grade, he even committed to playing football at the University of Oregon. Madden’s dad also claims that his son’s ‘got one real offer, from Arizona, a verbal offer.’
‘I can reach anybody. Donald Trump’s son’s wife follows my son,’ he added.
‘It’s bigger than people think and it’s only getting bigger. He just got posted on TMZ today. It’s probably one of the bigger things on the internet as an influencer.
‘He could be bigger than Bronny James.’