ELF: Barcelona Dragons sign former NFL and XFL receiver Austin Duke

The Barcelona Dragons of the European League of Football have filled their final American import spot with former NFL and XFL receiver and return specialist Austin Duke.

Duke played football for his hometown college, UNC Charlotte (NCAA, DI), in the school’s 2013 inaugural season. During the program’s first four years, Duke led the team in receiving yards totaling 3,437 yards and 24 touchdowns, earning Honorable Mention All-Conference USA.

The 5 ‘9″, 170-pounder’s stellar collegiate career earned a practice squad spot with the Carolina Panthers for the entire 2017 season and the 2018 pre-season. Duke signed contracts in both the CFL and AAF in 2019 but saw little to no action due to injury.

Duke last played for the New York Guardians in the 2020 iteration of the XFL where he caught five passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. Duke predominantly lined up as a returner for the Guardians amassing 138 kick-return yards, with a long of 41 yards, and 99 yards as a punt returner. 

The dynamic pass-catcher has proved that he can contribute at the highest level of the game and will now be bringing his skills to a Dragons team that has lost much of the talent that made them so successful in 2022.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.