Steve McShane, the former Freeport star, is set for Round 2 of pro life

Freeport native Steve McShane is ready to jet out of the country for a little more pro football. McShane, the former Freeport star who went on to play football and baseball at Western Illinois University, will fly out on Sunday bound for Vienna, Austria, where he will play for the Danube Dragons, the three-time Austrian Football League champions. Last year he made his professional debut with the Leipzig (Germany) Kings, but his season was cut short when the team went under and had to quit playing halfway through the season.

More on Steve McShane: Freeport's Steve McShane is officially a pro football player now[1] Now, McShane has found another overseas home. And it all came together rather quickly.

He received the offer just last week. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but I know I love playing football, and this opportunity came up, and I jumped on it," McShane said. "It's only a six-week season, and I'm only going to play in four games, just to go get good film. But it's going to be a nice opportunity, and I need to play."

McShane, who graduated from Freeport in 2015 with 3,240 yards rushing, No.

4 in NIC-10 history, went on to play football and baseball at Western Illinois University. He was then invited to an NFL rookie training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and after he didn't catch on, he signed on to play in the XFL in 2020. That's when he tore his Achilles tendon, right before the first game, and the league folded shortly after.

So, fast-forward two years later, and McShane made his professional debut with the Leipzig Kings last June in the European League of Football[2]. He scored a 55-yard touchdown in his first football game since November of 2018 after recovering from that torn Achilles tendon. He's now ready for some more.

"It's kind of crazy: Two weeks ago I was talking to a friend, and I said I liked playing in Vienna, and that would be a place I would go back to," McShane explained. "Then, three days later, their coach called me and wanted me. Now I'm hopping on a plane to Vienna. It's just weird."

The Dragons are coming off back-to-back championships, having won their Austrian Bowl titles in 2010, 2022 and last year. McShane comes in after racking up 650 all-purpose yards in just five games last year in the European League of Football. His best game was a three-touchdown, 175-yard-rushing performance in a win over the team out of Hungary.

The other two McShanes who are currently on professional football contracts are Deion and Vance, also both Freeport grads and former Pretzel standouts. Deion just started his stint with the Iowa Barnstormers[3] of the Indoor Football League and will debut with the team on March 23, the same day Steve will debut with his new team. Vance was on the practice squad of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League last year, and he could be brought back next season.

Jay Taft[4] is a Rockford Register Star sports reporter.

Email him at [email protected][5] and follow him on Twitter at @JayTaft[6]. Sign up[7] for the Rockford High School newsletter at

Jay has covered a wide variety of sports, from the Chicago Bears to youth sports, since the turn of the century at the Register Star, and for over 30 years all together.


  1. ^ Freeport's Steve McShane is officially a pro football player now (
  2. ^ European League of Football (
  3. ^ the Iowa Barnstormers (
  4. ^ Jay Taft (
  5. ^ [email protected] (
  6. ^ @JayTaft (
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