Sunday morning, the Toronto Argonauts signed five new players to fill apparent voids in their roster. Of these five signees, one name stands out — Donald De La Haye, better known as Deestroying.
De La Haye played for the University of Central Florida during all 13 games of the 2016 season as the kickoff specialist. Around June of 2017, De La Haye conceived Deestroying. His channel became a huge success, hitting 250K subscribers around August 2017 and 500K by the beginning of 2018.
In the summer of 2017, UCF and the NCAA told De La Haye that he was violating NCAA rules by profiting off of his status as a NCAA athlete by monetizing his YouTube channel. He was given an ultimatum: de-monetize his videos and cease making videos “based on his athletics, reputation, prestige or ability” or unenroll. De La Haye quit UCF and took them to court.
By December of 2018, Deestroying hit one million subscribers, now with upwards of 1.3 Million. During the offseason, De La Haye attended the Argos minicamp at IMG Academy. Not long after he posted a video titled “WHAT THEY TOLD ME AFTER MY FOOTBALL TRYOUT..” as a part of his “Path to the NFL Draft” series, where De La Haye said, “I balled out” when talking about the tryout.
Exactly two months after the video, his wishes came true. De La Haye was signed to a contract that has yet be to released. Six hours after the news broke of his signing, the Argos kicked off their inaugural training camp with De La Haye suiting up, sporting the white #18 jersey.
After the news broke of De La Haye’s signing, the Toronto Argonauts Instagram page gained 15,348 new followers (according to socialblade.com). As of Monday, May 20th, the page has already gained another 3500+ followers. We have yet to see whether De La Haye can back up his talk up with action, but he has clearly already had an impact on his new team.
By Reuben Polansky