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High School Players To Participate In NFL Development Program

NFL High School Player Development Program Presented by National Guard To Take Place In Spring and Summer

More than 20,000 high school football players will focus on character development, life skills, and on-field techniques from May-August as part of the National Football League's High School Player Development (HSPD) program presented by the National Guard.

Since its inception in 2001, the NFL's national HSPD program has provided participants with a curriculum that focuses on inspiring excellence in the classroom, community, and on the playing field. The program, which is partially funded by the NFL Youth Football Fund, is free for students and will reach more than 20,000 high school student-athletes at more than 125 sites in 34 states this spring and summer.

The character development and life skills portion of the week features guest speakers, including NFL players and coaches, preparation for standardized tests and discussions on life after high school. Students also will take part in a Centers for Disease Control session about player safety, including concussion treatment and management.

The National Guard's sponsorship of the HSPD program began last year and the Guard is excited to sponsor the program again this year. During each session, members of the National Guard will speak with participants about personal development and community service while providing support to coaches on site.

Graduates of the HSPD Program include RAY RICE and JARED GAITHER of the Ravens; KEVIN BARNES and EDWIN WILLIAMS of the Redskins; Dolphins CB VONTAE DAVIS; Bills DE AARON MAYBIN; and Lions WR DERRICK WILLIAMS.

Each participant receives an HSPD Student Planner, NCAA initial eligibility requirements, SAT/ACT information, and time management instruction.

On-field components of the HSPD program include fundamental skill development by position, reviews, and individual competitions. As part of on-field training, players focus on both an offensive and a defensive position, and eventually apply their newly-learned fundamentals to live drills. Participants have access to innovative teaching and drills developed by leading NCAA coaches.

In addition, HSPD kits will be sent to high school football coaches nationwide this year, impacting more than 1.2 million high school football players.

Please visit www.nflyouthpd.com for the most up-to-date information on HSPD sites.

About the NFL Youth Football Fund

Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund seeks to use football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and also ensure the health of grassroots football in future generations. Through the YFF's youth football initiatives and support programs, youngsters are provided with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors

About the Army National Guard

The Army National Guard is the oldest component of the United States armed forces. The first militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony on December 13, 1636. From the Pequot War in 1637 until the present day, the Army National Guard has participated in every war or conflict this nation has fought. The motto of the today's National Guard is "always ready, always there." The Guard is proud to support young, aspiring student-athletes by providing them with an opportunity to develop fundamental football skills by position, reviews and individual competitions in combination with mandatory character development instruction. The Guard not only protects communities in times of natural disaster but they also provide emergency assistance in extreme situations, which requires teamwork, dedication, determination, and innovation. As these high school athletes will soon learn, the qualities and skills needed to serve as a citizen-soldier are also the qualities essential to making a great football player.

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