Sex, Lives & Football (Players) – Austin Proehl on a Roll

By Joanne Kong

Twitter: @KongFu4U

Just so there’s no confusion, when I say Austin Proehl is on a “Roll”, I’m not referring to the dinner variety which you might be having with leftover turkey after Thanksgiving.  I’m talking about being “on a roll” like from the Ashley O/Miley Cyrus song from the Netflix TV show “Black Mirror”:

The reason I say that is that after week 1 of the XFL, in the words of the ever-wise Miley Cyrus, Austin Proehl is “on a roll, riding so high, achieving his goals“.  Sure, I’m paraphrasing a bit, as Austin Proehl isn’t a pop star from the future that has his personality trapped in a robot (and if that made no sense, go watch the episode of Black Mirror right now), but you get the point.

That being said, unless you’re a Tar Heel, you might be wondering…who is Austin Proehl?  As I alluded to above, if you watched the opening weekend of the XFL, the name might be familiar as he scored the first TD ever of the new XFL.

Hold on a sec, maybe you’re wondering…what IS the XFL?  Well, here’s a brief introduction.  Vince McMahon, owner of WWE, has started (or perhaps re-started) an off-season football league.  The “X” which McMahon wanted to stand for “Xtreme” was already taken in 1999, right before the original XFL was going to start.  So McMahon made it clear that the “X” specifically stands for NOTHING, but hey, its a free country, you can pretend it means anything you want.  The current XFL has eight teams and two divisions.  The Western Division includes the Seattle Dragons, Los Angeles Wildcats, Dallas Renegades and Houston Roughnecks, while the Eastern Division includes the New York Guardians, St. Louis Battlehawks, D.C. Defenders and Tampa Bay Vipers.

Yes, these are real teams with real fans.

The rules aren’t too different from the NFL, but since I’m now on a roll, here are some of the more important ones you might want to keep in mind:

  1. Kickoffs – During the kickoff, the football must end up between the 20 yard-line and the endzone.  If the ball does go into the endzone, the receiving team gets the ball at the 35 yards-line (in the NFL the ball is spotted on the 20 yard-line in a touch back).  During kickoffs, players can only move when the ball is touched by the returner or 3 seconds after the ball touches the ground (when the official waves his hand down).
  2. Point-After Touchdowns – There are no extra-point kick attempts.  Instead, teams must go for a 1 (2 yard-line), 2 (5 yard-line), or 3 (10 yard-line) point try.
  3. Double-Forward Pass – If a team completes a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage, that team may throw a second forward pass, as long as the ball has at no time crossed the line of scrimmage.
  4. 25-Second Play Clock – In the NFL, it’s a 40-second play clock.
  5. Time-Outs – Each team has two 1-minute time outs per half.  In the NFL, each team is given 3 timeouts per half.
  6. One-Foot Inbound Rule – In the NFL, a player must secure the ball and have two feet inbound.  In the XFL, only one foot is needed to stay inbound.
  7. Half-Time is only 10-minutes – In the NFL, its 20-minutes.

February 8th, 2020 was the official opening day of the XFL, which brings us back to “who is Austin Proehl?”

Once a Los Angeles Ram and now a Seattle Dragon, Austin Proehl was the most targeted player on the Dragons on Saturday’s game against the D.C. Defenders.  Unfortunately, the Dragons lost 19-31.  But, Proehl had a great game with 10 targets, five receptions, 88 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.

Let’s get to know the basics…

Name: Austin Proehl

Birthday/Age: October 11, 1995 (24)

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

College: North Carolina

Position: Wide Receiver

NFL Draft: 2018 / Round 7 / Pick 255 by the Buffalo Bills

Previous Teams: Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams

Current Team: Seattle Dragons (XFL)

Height: 5 feet 10 inch

Weight: 175 lbs.

Instagram: @austinproehl7

Twitter: @AustinProehl11

And with that out the way, let’s get to the personal stuff.

1)  Austin Proehl’s Baby Picture

Well, you have to start here, don’t you?  Cute pic!  Looks like Austin really liked pumpkins back then.

2)  Austin Proehl’s Football Resume

Quite a journey from the NFL Draft to today…

2018:    Drafted by the Buffalo Bills

2018:    Waived on September 1, 2018

2018:    Signed to the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad on September 3, 2018

2018:    Released the following day, September 4th, 2018

2018:    Signed to the Los Angeles Rams practice squad

2019:    Signed a reserve/future contract with the Los Angeles Rams February 6th, 2019

2019:    Waived in final roster cuts on August 30th, 2019

2019:    Drafted by the XFL on October 2019 to play for the Seattle Dragons

2020:    Scored the first EVER XFL touchdown

3)  Austin Proehl’s Name Sake

If the name Proehl sounds familiar, it might be because his father, Ricky Proehl, was a wide receiver in the NFL.  Playing college football at Wake Forest, Ricky Proehl was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1990 NFL Draft (Round 3 / Pick 58).  During his rookie year, Ricky Proehl set the rookie reception record and became the first rookie to lead the Arizona Cardinals in receptions since 1950.  After spending four years with the Cardinals, Ricky Proehl was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.  After two seasons with the Seahawks, Ricky Proehl signed with the Chicago Bears for a year before ending up with the Los Angeles (then St. Louis) Rams in 1998, where he helped lead the Rams to win Super XXXIV (34) against the Tennessee Titans.

Ricky Proehl remained with the Rams for three more seasons before signing with the Carolina Panthers.  After retiring in 2005, Ricky Proehl came out of retirement to replace an injured wide receiver, Brandon Stokley, in 2006 and was a part of the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl XLI (41) win against the Chicago Bears.

In his 17-year NFL career, he caught 669 passes, had 8,878 receiving yards and 54 touchdowns.  He then spent time as a wide receivers coach for the Carolina Panther before leaving to spend more time with his family.

Currently, Ricky Proehl owns, manages and coaches Proehlific Park, which is a sports performance complex and fitness center located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

4)  Austin Proehl’s Family

Austin isn’t the only one that followed in their father’s footsteps.  Austin’s younger brother, Blake, currently is a wide receiver at Eastern Carolina University.  After the 2019 season, he’s recorded 83 receptions, 999 reception yards and 5 touchdowns.

Austin also has an older sister, Alex.  And, to round out the family, mom, Kelly.

5)  Austin Proehl’s Inspirations

There’s someone that inspires us all.  For Austin Proehl, his father, although a major part of it, wasn’t his sole inspiration.  The NFL has some great players and Austin Proehl liked to watch them all…and some more than others.

It’s interesting since two of them have played for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, and many were tweeting this weekend that Proehl may be a good fit there.

6)  Hey-Day as a Buffalo Bill

As the second to last selection in the NFL draft, Austin Proehl didn’t have a significant chance to make the 53-man roster for the Bills.  But, his time wasn’t all about football.  Coming back from a charity bowling event, then rookies, quarterback Josh Allen, defensive tackle Harrison Phillips and Proehl posed with some die-hard Bills fans who were taking wedding party photos outside New Era Field, giving them something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.  Quite the awesome photo bomb!

7)  Austin Proehl Contenders Rookie Draft Pick Ticket Card

And in case you’re interested, he does have a signed collectors card.  Pretty nifty.

8)  Austin Proehl’s Dedication

Austin Proehl, like many athletes, has dedicate himself to his community.  In recognition of his service, Proehl was a semifinalist for the Wooden Citizen Cup, an organization for Athletes For A Better World.  During his time at University of North Carolina, Proehl led a number of service initiatives, including the UNC Children’s Hospital and UNC Cancer Hospital, participating in the UNC Athletics Pen Pal Program and volunteering as a guest reader at a number of local elementary schools.

9)  Austin Proehl’s Girlfriend?

Fact: Austin Proehl was in a relationship with Talia Cappuccio, a Florida State alum and a Kappa Delta, for several years (starting around 2014).

The relationship appears to have ended in 2017, but don’t hold me to it.

The last post by the Proehl family with Talia Cappuccio was at a family vacation to Orlando in 2017.

Currently, the Austin Proehl relationship status is probably “SINGLE”.  So…open season y’all (I think)!

10)  Post-Holiday Greeting

From the Proehl Family….wishing you a (belated) Merry Christmas…and I’m sure also a great XFL Season (and perhaps many more articles about Austin).