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April 2014

April 2014

Solid Foundation

by: AFM Editorial Staff
© April 2014

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The NFL PREP 100 Series presented by Under Armour and the National Guard gives elite high school student-athletes meaningful lessons in football and in life.

The NFL gives back to the high school community at large through its High School Player Development program presented by the National Guard. Free football skills and character development camps are conducted nationwide along with the HSPD Leadership Program and the National 7-on-7 Tournament – together giving thousands of high school athletes quality football experiences and leadership lessons.

For truly gifted athletes, those who are likely to advance to play in college or perhaps even professionally, the NFL delivers a truly unique program. Elite players are invited to participate in one of eight NFL PREP 100 Series one-day events held in NFL cities. Presented by Under Armour and the National Guard, the NFL PREP 100 Series is part of the NFL Player Engagement division, which offers guidance, education and support for NFL players to optimize personal and professional growth – before, during, and beyond their NFL experience.

The PREP 100 Series engages student-athletes in unique classroom sessions and focused, on-field training. PREP 100 players participate in position-specific technique and fundamental drills instructed by former NFL players. Student-athletes also are educated on key nutrition information by Gatorade and NCAA eligibility requirements. To help them become the “Total Athlete of Tomorrow”, they participate in character development sessions led by NFL Ambassadors and also a leadership development session conducted by representatives of the National Guard.

In short, the NFL PREP 100 Series gives top high school athletes an NFL-level experience led by NFL players and other representatives in NFL settings. ”The NFL PREP 100 Series strives to maximize the athletic talent and enhance the personal development of high school student-athletes,” said Rob Morrissey, Director of NFL Player Engagement. “We are committed to educating, empowering, and ‘PREP-ing’ student-athletes to be the best in athletics and life.”  

One hundred players are selected for each NFL PREP 100 Series event based on their athletic ability and through recommendations from local high school football coaches. Athletes who benefit most from the program have a thirst to get better both on and off the field. From the football drills and skills instruction to learning about leadership and character development, student-athletes are given a solid foundation to become future leaders in football and in their community.

According to Morrissey, the NFL PREP 100 Series is only part of the NFL’s commitment to helping high school student athletes grow and succeed. “NFL Player Engagement has been in the high school and college student-athlete development space for over four years,” he explained. “During our research, we found that there is a high school student dropout epidemic in most of the 32 NFL franchise cities. Naturally, this impacts the pipeline to the NFL. We want to begin delivering our message about achieving academic excellence, goal-setting, accessing resources, social media do’s and don’ts, etc. at an earlier age.”

For participating athletes, a highlight of their day at the NFL PREP 100 events is the opportunity to meet, spend time with, and get personalized instruction from former NFL players, who are utilized throughout program. On the classroom side, former players serve as presenters and panelists, delivering messages on character development, professionalism, and other life skills through an interactive, customized approach. All of the coaches who instruct the on field portion of the program are former NFL players as well.

It is the NFL’s expectation that the Prep 100 Series continue and grow in upcoming years. “I envision the NFL PREP 100 Series expanding to involve high school football coaches as well as working with more former NFL players who are active in high school football,” according to Morrissey.

The NFL PREP 100 Series presented by Under Armour and the National Guard, along with the other prep programs offered by NFL Player Engagement and HSPD are clear indications of the NFL commitment to high school student-athletes – giving them the tools and the positive life lessons that will serve them well beyond their football playing years.


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