CANTON, OHIO – After training the best football athletes from United States for the past three years, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy is taking its show on the road in April for ten days to test, train and showcase Mexico’s best. The Academy will visit and train top teams and athletes in Mexico City, Toluca and Queretaro from April 1st to April 15th. Hall of Fame Academy coaches include Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, former Oakland Raiders Defensive Coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, former Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys running back coaches, Chick Harris and Robert Ford, respectively.
It is the first time the Academy, led by former and legendary NFL Coaches and considered the world-class standard in football training, will travel to Mexico. The Academy program is designed to identify, train and showcase the best Mexican football players in the Mexico City region and showcase them before NFL and college scouts. The identification of top teams and athletes in Mexico has been ongoing for the past two months by Pro Football Hall of Fame International Scout, Michael Lopez Sanchez, who is based in Mexico City.
The idea of traveling to Mexico stemmed from an observation from Lopez, who followed the Academy and understood its impact on the development of hundreds of top college and NFL athletes in the United States.
“This Academy is like the Barcelona or Real Madrid soccer teams coming to Mexico to train and evaluate our top soccer athletes“, stated Lopez, “this football Academy is the gold standard in football."
For the past several years, the Pro Football Hall of Fame leadership has also been watching Mexico’s enthusiasm for American football, visible at NFL games hosted in Mexico City and through recent international youth competition. This past December the first-ever Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships were held at National Youth Football & Sports Complex at Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio. The tournament featured the world’s 80 top teams. Among those teams were three Mexican youth teams.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy will provide top Mexican athletes with two days of intense football training that will include world-class combine testing, classroom instruction and competition under the watchful eye of former NFL General Manager Ray Farmer. Also on hand will be Gary Howard, a top collegiate scout, who provides the Academy with college football evaluations for all athletes and final selection for national all-star competition. The very best Mexican athletes will be recomended to the Elite Academy Sesion in Canton in July 2018 to train and compete with the best U.S. high school and college athletes.
A unique and exclusive element to the Academy is A Game for LifeTM program that focuses on the values learned from the game of football. Led by Academy coaches, this character development seminar is built around the values of football such as commitment, integrity, courage, respect, and excellence learned from the game of football.
“We are thrilled the Academy will travel to Mexico to impact Mexico’s top athletes,” Pro Football Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker commented. “Our world-class training provides a platform for football development while also imparting the values learned that will help shape their futures, on and off the football field.”
“Given the global reach of American football, the opportunity to test, train and scout top Mexican athletes is exciting for our NFL coaches and college scouts. Our passion for football development spans oceans, borders and languages,” stated Rich McGuinness, General Manager of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy.
“The response by our top athletes and coaches has been unbelievable”, stated Lopez. “This is an opportunity of a life-time for our athletes to train and be seen by the NFL’s best and by major college scouts”.
ABOUT THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Located in Canton, Ohio, the birthplace of the National Football League, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution with the Mission to Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values, & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE.
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