TYLER DRAKE, a 6-foot, 187-pound junior linebacker from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, will be among nearly 200 high school football players from 32 states taking part in USA Football’s 2012 U.S. Under-19 National Team Trials on May 28-30 at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga.
Players will compete for roster spots on Team USA, which will face a World Team comprised of high school-aged players spanning four continents next February.
Drake, with a 4.1 GPA, is gaining the attention of several Ivy League universities. He registered 21 tackles for loss last season, including eight sacks.
The three-day National Trials in suburban Atlanta will include individual position drills, one-on-one and seven-on-seven situations. In addition to the opportunity to be selected for Team USA, USA Football will provide parents and athletes a variety of off-the-field developmental sessions. Speakers will address leadership and character-development topics as well as a seminar to help families manage the college recruiting process.
USA Football employs skill development, evaluation and competition to assess National Trials athletes. Each player receives a written evaluation by USA Football’s U-19 National Team scouts, all of whom have playing or scouting experience on the NFL or college level.
Among the 2012 U.S. U-19 National Team Trials instructors are:
• Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP DESMOND HOWARD, who will work with receivers;
• DON MAJKOWSKI, former NFL quarterback with the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions;
• Former NFL linebacker CHRIS SLADE, who spent eight of his nine seasons with the New England Patriots;
• Former Detroit Lions safety RON RICE, who will serve as an overall defensive instructor.
USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States. The Indianapolis-based nonprofit builds and manages U.S. national teams in football. Fifty-nine (59) countries spanning five continents possess a national federation of sport dedicated solely to football.
USA Football is a member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). U.S. national teams compete in IFAF-sanctioned events, including the upcoming IFAF Under-19 World Championship in 2012, an eight-nation tournament for players age 19 and younger to take place next summer. Team USA won the gold medal in the most recent IFAF U-19 World Championship, which was held in Canton, Ohio, in 2009. The 2012 U.S. Under-19 team also will compete in the 2012 Team USA vs. The World Game next February.
“We seek players who possess the skills and qualities befitting of a national team athlete, but whether one earns a Team USA roster spot is only part of what makes our National Trials in Marietta extraordinary,” USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK said. “These three days are rooted in preparing young men to be better people as well as better football players when they return to high school in the fall.”