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The 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas will recognize youth and high school football players, coaches and programs, connect football's next generation to the NFL’s newest members, and officially kick off the Play Football Summer Season.
Youth and high school football events will kick off with the NFL Draft Play Football Clinic, which matches local middle school students with the next generation of NFL stars. In addition to football clinics, the Play Football Prospects Family Brunch will connect parents of NFL Draft Prospects with local high school football families, and local high school players and coaches will participate in red carpet festivities and help announce Draft picks.
NFL Draft Prospects will lead more than 125 local middle school students in an NFL Draft Play Football Clinic and 750 local middle school students in the Character Playbook Hour on Wednesday, April 25 at 10 AM at AT&T Stadium. The Prospects will be split into two groups and participate in both activities.
During the clinic, participants will receive instruction from Draft Prospects on techniques and non-contact football skills, including passing, receiving and agility. The clinic will take place on the Play Football Field presented by Danimals at NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero®.
At the same time, the NFL and the United Way will host the Character Playbook Hour on the West Platform at AT&T Stadium. Character Playbook, which launched at the 2016 NFL Draft, has reached more than 200,000 students in 2,000 schools nationwide. Dallas Cowboys center, Travis Frederick will emcee as teams of local students partner with Draft Prospects to answer questions and complete quick challenges to become Character Champion. Cowboys Legend and Community Ambassador DeMarcus Ware will speak to the students about character and answer questions alongside Frederick and NFL Draft Prospects.
NFL Draft Prospects will have the opportunity to say, "Thank You, Coach" to the high school coach who had the most impact on their life and their path to the NFL. Each Draft prospect who is invited to the Draft may invite his high school coach to participate in the festivities in Dallas. Each coach will receive a $2,500 equipment grant.
Prospects and coaches will attend a welcome reception, a behind-the-scenes Draft tour and the 2018 NFL Draft as they witness their former athlete join the NFL family.
Parents of NFL Draft prospects will join local high school players and their families for a recognition and networking brunch. On Thursday, April 26, families will participate in a meet-and-greet and forum led by NFL Legend Scott Turner focused on the values one learns by playing football.
In celebration of the Play Football Summer Season, the NFL will host non-contact football clinics for local kids on Friday, April 27. As Draft prospects prepare for their NFL journey, younger members of the football family will play the game at AT&T Stadium.
Play Football Summer Season clinics at Draft are free and open to the public. Clinics will be led by USA Football certified coaches with appearances by NFL players and Legends.
Over the summer, hundreds of current and former NFL players and coaches will host youth camps and activities for kids across the country. Camps and activities will focus on teaching proper technique and will emphasize teamwork, sportsmanship and the positive values learned by playing football. Families may register at PlayFootball.com.
High school football programs from school districts, including Arlington, Dallas and Frisco will walk the Red Carpet and be interviewed by media and aspiring high school journalists on Friday, April 27. High school cheer and dance squads will also participate in Red Carpet festivities.
NFL Legend and NFL Network talent Willie McGinest will host the event live from outside AT&T Stadium before Round 2 of the Draft.
The NFL Draft Family Football Clinic will be held on Saturday, April 28 from 12:30 – 2 PM and will give local kids a chance to participate in a youth football non-contact clinic with USA Football coaches, while their parents listen to a football-themed panel discussion panel. The clinic is free and open to the public, and families may register through Fan Mobile Pass.
To celebrate youth and high school football, local athletes will announce draft picks during certain rounds at the NFL Draft.
During Round 1, football players from six Arlington ISD schools — Arlington High School, Bowie High School, Juan Seguin High School, Lamar High School, Martin High School, and Sam Houston High School — will take the stage alongside Commissioner Roger Goodell and represent the Dallas Cowboys during their Round 1 pick. The teams will walk the Red Carpet alongside Draft prospects.
For the second consecutive year, Round 6 of the NFL Draft will have a Play Football theme and celebrate youth and high school football participants across the country. Youth football players from NFL FLAG and local youth and high school football teams around the country have been selected by NFL teams to announce Round 6 picks.