The Untold Truth Of Baby Gronk

Baby Gronk has taken over the Internet in 2024 — and if you don't know who he is yet, he hopes to change that soon. The 11-year-old Texas native has been sharing his NFL aspirations in hundreds of his viral social media videos that show him decked out in several chunky chains and surrounded by squads of gorgeous (older) women.

Gronk, whose real name is Madden San Miguel, has already boasted his early picks for potential college teams while still in middle school. The pre-teen has not had an official offer from any school, but that doesn't seem to stop him or his father, Jake. The latter shamelessly runs his social media accounts, toting his son around the country to various football camps for Madden to take photos with coaches like Nick Saban for clickbait. "It's a brand. It's a movement. I do all of that," Jake said in an interview with The Athletic. Whatever Gronk's father is doing seems to be paying off. Madden has garnered over half a million Instagram followers and reportedly makes $100,000 dollars a year alone in advertisements. Talk about lunch money!

His nickname, Baby Gronk, was born to honor former NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski and Madden's unusual growth spurt. "We call him Baby Gronk because he weighs 20 pounds more than all the children in his grade," Jake told SportsKeeda. So, how has Gronk managed to rub shoulders with Shaquille O'Neal? Will his talent prevail, or will his helicopter dad dash his NFL dreams? We're breaking down the untold truth of Baby Gronk.

Baby Gronk went viral after meeting a famous LSU gymnast

According to Jake San Miguel, his son Madden's destiny in life has already been decided for him. "I've had a plan for my son since before he was born," he told The Athletic. "It's playing out now." Despite being a "better baseball player" and participating in five sports, Jake has been pushing Baby Gronk toward the NFL. Thanks to Madden's incredible social media presence, he's captured the eyes of several colleges and been granted tours to visit the likes of LSU and Ohio State.

Baby Gronk's social media began to take off in 2021 after he posted a workout video alongside Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott that gained him traction. He also knows Olivia Dunne, an LSU gymnast and influencer featured in several posts on his son's Instagram account — one of which ended up going viral after Madden toured LSU's campus in March of 2023.

Dunne, the highest-paid female athlete in college sports, boasts over 5 million Instagram followers and has partnered with brand giants like Sports Illustrated and Nautica. Baby Gronk has used her star power to his advantage, playing up his school-boy crush on Dunne and blasting photos and videos of them on social media for clout.

Gronk has already narrowed down his college picks

Before he even blew out the candles on his 12th birthday cake, Baby Gronk already narrowed his list of potential college football programs to apply to. While they say to dream big, Madden San Miguel took that further when he announced his verbal commitment to an NFL team. Someone should probably tell him, however, that there's no current offer on the table.

In an Instagram post from 2021, the aspiring professional football player wrote, "VERBALLY COMMITTED TO OREGON- BABY GRONK." Fans were quick to chime in the obvious, however. "I can be verbally committed to bama but it doesn't mean nun if you don't get offered," one commenter wrote. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, San Miguel shared his reasoning behind the verbal commitment, saying, "I love their colors and I have a friend there, LaMichael James." It doesn't take much to sway a rising 12-year-old, apparently.

But San Miguel's decision seemed more of a clout-chasing opportunity than an actual reality. Not long after visiting LSU's campus and getting hypnotized by the likes of Olivia Dunne, Baby Gronk was seen rocking a mock-up Tigers uniform and sporting purple and yellow. He posted a video to Instagram in 2023 alongside Dunne with the caption, "LSU HAS MOVED UP TO MY TOP 5." In the video, San Miguel tells the gymnast, "I might play here," to which she responds, "You have to come here. It's awesome," before she hugs him and tells him, "You're so cute!"

He rubs shoulders with the biggest names in sports

Baby Gronk has managed to get close to some of the biggest names in sports, including Shaquille O'Neal. The Texas native posted a video to Instagram in 2023 titled "Baby Gronk Meets Shaq," which featured him getting a basketball signed by the NBA legend. He's also posted a plethora of photos and videos on his social media account with athletes and celebs, including a shot of him alongside Nick Saban and several other college football and NFL athletes.

Madden San Miguel's father, Jake, was a high school football player whose life revolves around sports, and he insists he knows the "who's who" in the industry. "I do marketing, man. On that end, I can't give too much because I wouldn't want to give away what I do," Jake told The Athletic when discussing how his son was able to meet some high-level contacts. "I manage everything. I know a lot of people. I have friends who played in the NFL. I have friends who coach in the Power 5. Former teammates from my high school team. I know people who run social medias for a lot [of] companies," he added.

His father also worked in the music industry, telling Football Scoop that he "had a big fan base, a big following" earlier in life. Jake has since taken many of the skills he's learned to help his son, mentioning that Madden has even worked with Michael Vick in the past. "It's only getting bigger. Everything's monetized for him," he told the publication.

His father has been criticized for managing his social media

Baby Gronk may have become an Internet sensation, but there's been a lot of chatter about how much of his personality is authentic. While his father manages his social media accounts and burgeoning influencer career, some fans have wondered if Jake San Miguel may be using his son as a way to live out his dreams.

In a painfully cringeworthy interview on the "Bring the Juice" podcast, Madden San Miguel was hand-fed responses by his father to nearly every question thrown his way. The football prodigy looked stiff and uncomfortable as his father told the hosts, "Ask that again bro," before turning to his son, who then re-worded his answers.

Baby Gronk even got the attention of his name-sake, former NFL tight end Ron Gronkowski, but not in the way he hoped. During an episode of the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast, the football star admitted he was uncomfortable with Jake's decision to reach out to him. "His dad f****n' hit me up 500 times already," Gronkowski shared, admitting his brother told him: "'Don't do anything with him. The dad is so annoying.' It's to the point where it's awkward. It's too far."

Fans have also caught on to the awkward dynamic of Baby Gronk's relationship/partnership with his father. "My friend told me once he met them and it's [just] the dad, kid is a quiet, chill — but the dad is on something," one user commented on an Instagram post. "I swear bro cool it's just his dad," another wrote.

Gronk's social media may take him farther than the NFL ever could

American football is a risky sport, and it's something Madden San Miguel's father, Jake, knows all too well. Research has shown that severe head injuries from the sport have led to serious life-threatening conditions and memory loss, making it one of the most dangerous sports despite its popularity. Jake has thought all this through, and he told The Athletic that if things don't work out for his son on the field, his social media presence can take him far.

"His goal is to go to the NFL. But the NFL is rare. It's hard to make. So my goal is to build him a platform and a following where he is making money now and it's going into a savings account," Jake told The Athletic. He added that Baby Gronk could reach millionaire status by the time he enters high school. "That way he can live a good life without struggle or worry. It's the insurance behind sports. You don't have to go pro anymore," he continued. "Like Livvy Dunne, she's set for life already because of the internet."

Jake knows how it feels to lose an opportunity to play football at a higher level, and he's doing what he can to prepare Madden. "Sometimes it isn't God's plan for you," he explained. "I tore my ACL. I didn't make it. All I had was a sad story." Baby Gronk's father hopes to use those past mistakes to propel his son further than he ever got, and he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

Gronk announced his retirement from football

Madden San Miguel caused an Internet stir when he posted an Instagram video announcing his retirement from football in February 2024. The video, "GOODBYE FOOTBALL," featured Baby Gronk apologizing to his fans and teammates, telling fans, "The pressure is just too much." He added, "My dad's forced all this on me. I don't enjoy football anymore. I will be stepping away from the game I used to love."

While retiring at 11 seems a bit dramatic, most fans didn't take his announcement seriously. "Like if u don't care," wrote one commenter. "Thank u now step away from social media," commented another. Baby Gronk posted another cringeworthy Instagram photo where he advertised bags of grass for sale. "Bags of grass for sale where Baby Gronk retired," he wrote. "Will sale for $5,000 a pound." It brought into question what exactly was the point of the rapid-fire social media posts that continue to confuse Baby Gronk's fans. "I'm really trying to figure out what his dad's endgame is with this? What does he think he's accomplishing?" one account commented on the post.

Baby Gronk posted another Instagram video shortly after, dressing in all black and wearing a black mask that completely covered his face. In the skit, someone mistakes him for rapper Kanye West, to which he replies, "It's not Kanye! It's Baby Gronk! I'm retired get out of my face!" Fans once again didn't find the video hilarious, with one user sarcastically writing, "'Yep that's amazing let's post it.'"

He didn't exactly retire at all

Baby Gronk's "retirement" didn't last very long at all. The pre-teen's break from football was so quick that many fans just assumed it was a publicity stunt to help gain followers. Two weeks after he posted his Instagram photo claiming that he was stepping away from the game, he posted another photo to his account contradicting that statement.

"DEAR FANS ... BABY GRONK IS COMING OUT OF RETIREMENT," the post read. However, fans weren't exactly shocked to hear the news, given Madden San Miguel's pattern of posting clickbait-type posts with misleading taglines. "His dad's using his son for clout and money," one user wrote. "I had to unfollow after this post I couldn't take it," another quipped.

However, fans may be shocked to know that Baby Gronk could be under new management. According to an Instagram photo posted after he announced his two-week retirement, Baby Gronk told his followers that his father, Jake, would no longer be his manager. While he didn't give any updates on who would be taking over for the aspiring NFL player, fans weren't convinced that Jake could let go of the reins. "[I don't] know if this is real or not bruh," one commenter wrote. Another user thought the 11-year-old could spend his time doing other things, writing, "Managed lol. Just go play ps5 bro."

Does Gronk have a girlfriend?

There's been lots of chatter online about a potential romance between Baby Gronk and LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, but it is clear to many fans that there's little truth to the matter. While Madden San Miguel has posted several videos and photos alongside Dunne, even admitting to fans that, "She's the reason I'm playing football again," he seems to be using her to take his platform to the next level. Whatever romance the pair may have, it's one-sided, as Dunne is currently dating Pittsburgh Pirates player Paul Skenes. However, Baby Gronk isn't sweating it, as he previously admitted, "I got 10 [girlfriends]."

He also posted an Instagram video with Southern Connecticut State University gymnast Sydney Smith where he seems to forget Dunne altogether. "Baby Gronk, she's with Paul and you know that," Smith says in the skit, adding, "So, are you gonna rizz me up?" According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Rizz is slang for "to attract someone's attention and make them like you in a romantic or sexual way."

Viewers aren't exactly laughing about the rizz jokes, especially when it comes to the uncomfortable age gap Baby Gronk has with many of the women he romanticizes on social media. "WHY THE F**K ARE WE SEXUALIZING A 10-YEAR-OLD??????" one user questioned. "Ain't he a kid ..?" another asked. "Can we not normalize this," wrote another individual. The commentary hasn't stopped San Miguel, who has continued to post photos with Dunne, Smith, and several Hooters girls on his page.

Not everyone agrees with his intense training regimen

Baby Gronk's intense training regimen has been questioned by those who believe the 11-year-old may be overdoing it. In Jake San Miguel's interview with The Athletic, he admitted that his son has been treated differently since he was a small child. "He has been trained and programmed since he was 6 years old," San Miguel admitted. "We put five or six days a week of training. He diets, he eats clean foods, salmon and brown rice ... 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."

However, not everybody is a fan of Madden's father's hard-knocks approach. The New York Times posted his quote to X (formerly known as Twitter), including the line about Madden not being a "normal kid." Former NFL star J.J. Watt responded after a fan asked for his thoughts. "I've always said ... Kids should play multiple sports and kids should be allowed to be kids," he wrote. "I'm not against advanced leagues, better competition, etc. But no kid should be playing one sport all year & no kid should be training 'like a pro' until at least HS," he added, reinforcing the fact that they are simply young children. One mother responded to the controversy, writing, "Trained and programmed? I have never provided any specialized training for either one of my sons and they're both gonna go D1."