A Tijuana native in the NFL


A Tijuana native in the NFL

In 2020, just around this time of December, Alfredo Gutiérrez Urías from Tijuana received the pleasant news of having been selected, along with eleven other players, as part of the program International Player Pathway of the National Football League (NFL).

The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for international athletes to compete at the NFL level and earn a spot on a team. Gutiérrez began to train hard, with the hope of being chosen for a practice team of the renowned League.

Aged 26, 2.06 meters tall and 150 kilograms, from the Borregos team of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Alfredo was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers as part of the practice squad for the 2021 campaign.

His beginnings were in the local leagues of Tijuana, playing for Club Zopilotes in a Children’s category, later, as a Youth, he participated in the American Football Student Organization with Jaguares of the Federal Preparatory School “Lázaro Cárdenas”, before giving the step onto the university grid.

After his first year, the border player continued on the Bay squad, being the second active Mexican in the NFL, along with Isaac Alarcón (Dallas Cowboys), making his preseason debut in August, in a game against the Minnesota Vikings.

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“It is indescribable because I did not know that I was going to play, but the moment touched me and that the coach Shanahan. He tells me: ‘Alfredo, you’re going inside’, and from there I started to feel butterflies, even though it sounds a little cheesy. I started to warm up and everything, but I felt better when I stepped onto the playing field and turned to see the entire stadium. I felt the dream that you have since you were a child, of being able to play or of getting to wear the uniform of a team. Everything ended there, it was a very dad and, when you get to the line and you are already listening to the play, leaving is another blow of emotions”, confessed Alfredo.

At the end of the game against Minnesota, Gutiérrez received the ball, being one of the favorite moments in his short career in the NFL.

“Another very nice thing, because I get to the dressing room, I go in and I’m changing, you’re at the meeting and this time the coach Kyle Shanahan mentions me, gives me the ball and it’s my turn to break, and well, it was something else that was also inexplicable”.

Gutiérrez recounted his experience of having been in Mexico during the game between the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, November 20, at the Azteca Stadium, in the game corresponding to Week 11 of the 2022 season.

The most emotional thing prior to the traditional “Monday Night” match played at the “Colossus of Santa Úrsula” was that he was chosen to carry the Mexican flag during the entrance to the 49ers field.

“Already in the dressing room the head coach gives his speech and in that they pass me the flag. I grab the flag, put it on, hug it and I was at the beginning, focused on what was about to happen. When we ran out, I began to turn around the entire stadium until I reached midfield, then I took everything out and began to wave the flag. The National Anthem passes, and I already understand why those of the Mexican National Team cry with the Anthem. It was perfect, better than I thought, that they gave me the opportunity to go out with the flag, to be in the stadium with the people, to be able to see them, it was something very nice. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps. I continue with the euphoria of that game, the people of our country gave us a lot of positive energy and we continue with that game vibe”, added Gutiérrez. So far, San Francisco has already tied the leadership of the West of the National Conference and is one of the favorites to reach Super Bowl LVII, with which Gutiérrez would be writing even more history after becoming the first player from this border to reach NFL with San Francisco 49ers, so it’s for ZETAFeatured Character 2022.

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A Tijuana native in the NFL