Deestroying with De La Haye

Juan Viruet, writer

A few students had what could be a highlight of their lives on Sunday October 14th. During a normal afternoon at Northeast Regional Park, they had the opportunity to meet and play with famous Youtuber, “Deestroying”.

Widely known for his charismatic and addictive YouTube videos, Donald De La Haye was also a Division 1 Football Kicker at the University of Central Florida. When off the field, Donald would spend his time making videos for his popular channel. Running his Youtube channel, building a following, and making content for everyone got him into some trouble with the university.

Donald had videos on his channel that were monetized, which the NCAA rules against players making income off their status as college athletes. De La Haye and the school went back and forth to try to reach middle ground in the situation with Donald wanting to continue his Youtube career. After a few meetings, a waiver was put in for the Youtuber, stating he could not reference his status as a student athlete, mention anything UCF related, and videos could not depict his football skills or abilities.

After contemplating the decision to sign the waiver, De La Haye ultimately decided not to sign and was deemed ineligible and had his football scholarship revoked.

These things have only made Donald stronger.

“My life has changed in a whole lot of ways, I’ve learned to never give up, I’ve learned to be strong because things take time and I’ve learned that God has a plan for everybody” De La Haye states.

Since his complications with UCF and the NCAA, the Deestroying Youtube channel has garnered thousands of subscribers and followers on Instagram, with a multitude of those supporters coming from Four Corners.

“I’ve been watching Deestroying for about over a year now” junior Miguel Fonseca stated. “I watch his videos because he’s a guy who has succeeded in life and I always looked up to him. I always go watch him because he makes fun content and is always motivating myself and others and always has a positive attitude.”

While attending a cookout at Northeast Regional Park, a group of students headed up to one of the fields to throw the football around when they saw none other than, Deestroying.

They quickly recognized the Youtube star and his crew in the middle of them filming one of his videos, greeting them with handshakes and compliments with nothing but excitement written across their faces. The joy they experienced from seeing someone they look up to and sharing how much they appreciated him could be felt as the energy between the students and De La Haye was electric.

“It was like a dream and when I shook his hand and hugged him I was the happiest I’ve ever been,” freshman Jermy Diaz stated gleefully. “It was awesome meeting a guy that I look up to and inspires me, he was such a positive guy.”

After getting a quick photo op and everyone again embracing one another, the students gathered around De La Haye in which he gave a quick speech.

“Don’t let anybody tell you can’t do nothing, because I was at my downs after the whole (thing), but I just kept my head down and kept working and y’all see where I’m at now.” De La Haye said passionately. “This is crazy to me, y’all out here knowing (somebody). Just keep working boys, this really hit the heart.”

While finishing up the video he was working on, De La Haye made a proposal to the group that they could not refuse, a 7 on 7 football game. They happily accepted and thus the game was underway as they split into two teams: Team Subs and Team Dee.

The night went on and the game was still played even with minimal visibility, with the two teams trading big plays and trash talk all throughout. At the end of the game it was Team Subs with the victory over Team Dee.

“I felt like I was playing in the Superbowl for a minute and I felt like I scored against the best defense in the league” says junior Brayden Halidy. “My favorite moment came when the ball got thrown to me and I was able to show everyone that big boy got some speed on him.”

After the group got the chance to egg Donald’s friend ‘Beans’ for losing a challenge in a previous video, it was time to wrap everything up and call it a night.

With Donald aiming his sights at an opportunity to kick in the NFL, he goes on to explain “My goal is to make it within the next year!”

He’s also going to spread the message of positivity and will continue to inspire others.

As for the students, they will forever have the memory of meeting someone they look up to and will cherish the little moments in life that will help shape who they’ll become.

Watch the full experience here: