HS football in Mexico City to include college choices

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              FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009 file photo, Former Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders player Rod Woodson stands with his bronze bust during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The Pro Football Hall of Fame World Bowl Presented by Xenith will be at Azul Stadium, with players chosen by a selection team of scouts, Hall of Famers and former NFL executives. Rod Woodson, the outstanding defensive back and special teams player who entered the Hall of Fame in 2009 will serve as host.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
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The first high school all-star game to be played outside the United States will take place Dec. 22 in Mexico City, three days after many of the players involved will reveal which colleges they will attend.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame World Bowl Presented by Xenith will be at Azul Stadium, with players chosen by a selection team of scouts, Hall of Famers and former NFL executives. Rod Woodson, the outstanding defensive back and special teams player who entered the Hall of Fame in 2009 will serve as host.

“The NCAA had the change in rules with the early signing day and we’re using that to our benefit,” Woodson says. “The players will be on the campus of Azteca TV and they get to walk a red carpet, pick the hat they are going to wear to show what school they’re going to. It will be a big deal and definitely worth going to as a player. It will make history and it will be something they will remember forever.”

More than 30 All-Americans will show their choices, and CBS Sports Network will televise the proceedings.

Woodson recalls that when he signed to go to Purdue, only his parents accompanied him in the high school athletic director’s office. Maybe one newspaper covered it.

Woodson notes that many of the U.S. players have never been out of the country. They will find that American football, while not on the level of soccer south of the border, is plenty popular.

“In Mexico, they have been playing American football for more than 50 years, which surprised me to know they are doing it for that long,” he says. “They have some really good teams and stadiums around Mexico, and the same thing in Europe.

“The biggest difference from Mexican players than the players from the U.S., we have more resources and our athletes have year-round training, where in Mexico and Europe they don’t.

“So we have coaching sessions for the coaches to let them understand football even better and they can give some education to the players for a better product on the field.”