New England Patriots offensive tackle NATE SOLDER and defensive tackle VINCE WILFORK will each donate a $1,500 equipment grant to a high school football program through USA Football, the official youth football development partner of the Patriots and the NFL.
USA Football named Solder and Wilfork to its 2012 All-Fundamentals Team in January, honoring 26 NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters inherent safety benefits and better on-field performance. As All-Fundamentals Team players, Solder and Wilfork each received an equipment grant valued at $1,500 from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school program of their choice. Soldier will award his grant to Buena Vista (Colo.) High School, his alma mater, and Wilfork will award his grant to Boynton Beach (Fla.) Community High School.
Solder uses proper footwork and balance to correctly and efficiently block in space. With eyes on the target, Solder uses a wide base, a bend in his knees and great body position whether leading on run or screen play or setting up in pass blocking.
"The equipment grant will help us replenish our helmet inventory," Buena Vista High School football coach MATT FLAVIN said. "The new helmet law in Florida requires any helmet over 10 years to not be re-conditioned. Our football program appreciates the support of Nate, USA Football and the Patriots."
Wilfork uses his strength and proper technique to either defeat blocks or hold his ground at the point of attack, depending on what his team's call is. His balance and proper hand placement create space between himself and the blocker to remain in control while engaged.
"The USA Football equipment grant from Vince Wilfork will greatly benefit our football program," Boynton Beach Community High School football coach RICK SWAIN said. "Vince grew up in Boynton Beach and understands the financial struggles our school, students and community faces.
"This type of donation – a 25-piece blocking equipment set – will directly impact our student-athletes and inspire them to be the best they can be."
Employing core football fundamentals advances a youth player's performance and safety, particularly in the areas of blocking and tackling. USA Football has educated more than 100,000 youth football coaches in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., through its online courses and single-day coaching clinics. Approximately 3 million American children age 6-14 play organized tackle football, placing it among the country's most popular youth sports.
The USA Football All-Fundamentals Team was assembled with guidance by a five-person selection committee:
- TOM CARTER, NFLPA player advocate and former NFL defensive back
- CHARLES DAVIS, USA Football spokesperson, football analyst for NFL Network and FOX Sports
- HERM EDWARDS, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL head coach
- MERRIL HOGE, USA Football board member, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL running back
- CARL PETERSON, USA Football chairman, former NFL team executive and assistant coach
More on past USA Football All-Fundamentals Team players' techniques is available at:
About USA Football: USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, hosts dozens of football training events annually offering education for coaches, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions and provides more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.