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YouTube star Deestroying signs with UFL’s San Antonio Brahmas football team

Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Many may not know the name Donald De La Haye Jr., or at least not yet. However, millions know who Deestroying is, a YouTube star who now will be getting his first opportunity to play for a professional football team in America.

Previously getting his start as the kickoff specialist for UCF, Deestroying’s college career ended with a great amount of controversy, all due to his popularity. Back then, in 2017, the NCAA asked the Costa Rica native to either delete or demonetize his wildly popular YouTube account or risk getting kicked off the team. Deestroying, who was simply profiting off his Name, Image, and Likeness, was ahead of his time, as the NCAA did not yet have an NIL agreement in place.

Yet, these hurdles didn’t cause Deestroying to give up on chasing his dream of becoming a professional kicker. Instead, he kept making YouTube videos, showing off his kicking talents, hoping to get noticed by anyone willing to give him a chance.

In 2019, that opportunity would come with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, yet he never appeared in an official game, aside from during preseason matchups. While he was initially on the practice roster, Deestroying reportedly made more money off his YouTube videos than he was earning in the CFL, where he has racked up 5.7 million followers.

But his flirtation with the CFL was five years ago. Now, Deestroying is getting what may be his biggest opportunity yet.

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Deestroying goes from YouTuber to professional football player

Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the United Football League’s San Antonio Brahmas announced they signed Deestroying to a contract, where he’ll have a chance to make his American professional football debut in 2024.

At 27 years old, even though he may not have much experience in live games, there’s plenty of time for Deestroying to build upon the impressive off-the-field career he’s already made for himself. But it’s obvious he wants to do much more than just create awesome videos, he wants to compete with other top athletes too.

The UFL season kicks off on March 30, 2024, but first, Deestroying will have to prove to coaches he not only belongs, but deserves a roster spot over others who likely have a lot more recent experience kicking in live action.

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