After graduating from the University of Indianapolis in December of 2016, Reece Horn went on to bounce around the NFL shortly joining the Tennessee Titans, the Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts.
Now, he is taking his professional football career in a different direction after being drafted in the eighth round in the first XFL draft by the Tampa Bay Vipers.
According to CBS Sports, the XFL is a professional football league and is a successor of the previous XFL league, which was ran for only one season in 2001 and canceled due to a variety of reasons, including unprofessionalism and lack of rules, according to the XFL website.
After graduation, Horn was signed to the Indianapolis Colts who are a part of the NFL, but then was released after a few weeks. Following this, he continued on with a try-out for the Tennessee Titans for about 7 to 8 months, but was again released, said Horn.
“It was actually kind of a crazy turn,” Horn said. “Once I got released from the Titans it was an awkward situation where you still have your 53 man roster, and I still wanted to play obviously, so I went over to Europe to [play] ball for two seasons. My first season there was in Italy, in Milan.”
According to Horn, the team was strong and ended with a good season, but he still wanted to play.
After coming back to the U.S., he signed with the Vienna Vikings of Vienna, Austria and headed back to Europe.
After playing two seasons over in Europe, Horn was signed to the NFL once again, this time with the Miami Dolphins, but was released at preseason after about seven months of being signed.
Horn said the whole process of getting into the professional league is a waiting game. After waiting for his next opportunity, Horn was drafted in the skill position players portion of the draft in the first day of the newly reformed XFL to the Tampa Bay Vipers.
UIndy Head Football Coach Chris Keevers has coached Horn since day one of his career at UIndy. According to Keevers, he is not surprised that Horn is going pro.
“He was our best player, and everyone [we played] hated playing against him,” Keevers said. “The league he played in last year, during the summer, before it folded, he was playing really well. I got to watch a couple games with my kids and he was very successful, made a bunch of plays and commentators were very positive about him so I would not see any reason for him not to be successful.”
According to Horn, XFL is a great opportunity for athletes who are just on the verge of being skilled enough to play in the NFL. In addition to great athletes, the XFL also has a lot of great coaches who have experience.
“Every single coach in the XFL has either coached or played at a high level,” Horn said. “Or even [in] the NFL at that matter.”
According to Horn, the newly formed league is more family friendly and the rules are similar to the NFL, which makes it a great complementary league. This league is great for both the players and the fans in more ways than one, Horn said.
“The start of the season is one week after the super bowl,” Horn said. “It gives fans a chance to keep watching at a highly competitive [level] and it gives them a team to root for.”
The new XFL’s first season starts on Feb 8, 2020. Horn’s first game will be on Feb 9, 2020 against the New York Guardians, according to the XFL website.
“I see it being very successful,” Horn said. “Just be prepared for some great football.”