NC native, former ECU, NFL player Blake Proehl headed to Hollywood: 'American Idol'

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Monday, February 19, 2024
NC native Blake Proehl headed to Hollywood
You can watch Blake's performance again, Monday on Hulu.

NORTH CAROLINA (WTVD) -- After a moving audition, a North Carolina native and former NFL player is heading to Hollywood.

Blake Proehl, who is a former player with the Minnesota Vikings, performed "In case you didn't know" by Brett Young for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.

Proehl received applause from all three judges and praise following his audition.

"If you will allow us to be your coaches, you're gonna be top 10," said Perry.

"I wrote one thing down that stood out. Natural," Richie said.

Proehl played football for East Carolina University as a wide receiver before he became an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings, according to ABC affiliate WSOC.

He later left the team after he was injured.

"I went through a really tough injury...I tore a bunch of stuff," Proehl told Ryan Seacrest in an interview."They said hey it'll be a success story if you're able to run again in general."

Proehl said he turned to music while recovering from his injury, and said his grandmother is the reason he decided to audition.

"My grandma is the reason why I'm here," he said. "She's the reason why I have any confidence at all to be in this room."

WATCH | Blake Proehl's reaction after getting his 'American Idol' golden ticket to Hollywood

The North Carolina native and former ECU and NFL player gives all the credit to his grandmother--Nana.

Blake is the son of former NFL player Ricky Proehl who played in the league for 17 years. Three of Proehls's years were with the Carolina Panthers. Proehl played at Wake Forest University before being drafted by the Phoenix Cardinals. After retiring from the NFL, Proehl was the wide receivers coach for the Panthers for six years. He won Super Bowl titles while playing for two different teams, the St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts.

WATCH: ABC11 speaks with Blake Proehl ahead of 'American Idol' audition

Blake Proehl, who played college football at East Carolina University, performed "In Case You Didn't Know" by Brett Young

You can watch Blake's performance again on Monday on Hulu.