Mexico City. – Mexican forward Hector Zepeda Hernandez is one of 13 players from 9 different countries seeking a place in the NFL through the International Player Path Program.
The league announced on Tuesday the athletes who will begin training in the United States in February before having the opportunity to work with the scouting team in March in hopes of being hired as free agents. Players can also be selected or assigned to a coaching staff in one of the eight NFL divisions for the 2022 season.
Zepeda Hernandez, 24, of Baja California, played on the Borregos Salvajes Monterrey campus from 2016 to 2021 and seeks to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Isaac Alarcón and Alfredo Gutiérrez, who, thanks to the program, had the opportunity to train with Dallas and San Francisco respectively.
“The International Player Path Program is an important part of our ongoing effort to help ensure that the best athletes in the world play in the NFL, regardless of their country of origin,” said Damani Leech, NFL Director of International Player Operations.
The program began in 2017 and gives athletes from other countries the opportunity to earn a place on the NFL roster.
The NFL held promotions in England and Mexico last October and attracted 56 players from 16 countries.
At the end of the training camp, each player can remain on his team’s coaching staff with an international exemption giving his team an extra player. Players can also join the active roster during the regular season based on certain criteria.
In addition to Zepeda Hernandez, the players selected for 2022 are Lionel Misangomokini (Austria), Leandro Santos da Fonseca (Brazil), Souleymane Karamoko (France), Marcel Dabo (Germany), Ralph Rossens (Latvia), Kehinde Hasan Ojenni, Shegbo Roy Mbitka and Haji Chisom Ndubuisi (Nigeria); Thomas Odkoya (Netherlands), Adidayo Odile, Ayo Oyola and Pamidel Olasini (UK).
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