NFL International Player Pathway spotlight: Hector Zepada, OL, Mexico

Hailing from one of Mexico’s college football programs Monterrey Tech University NFL prospect Hector Zepeda comes from a program with a plethora of pride, skill, and talent. The 23-year-old has been a staple in the Borregos program starting at guard and tackle for what many have called “the Alabama” of Mexico’s college football system.

The NFL announced that the 6’4, 290-pound lineman was selected as one of the 13 invites to this year’s NFL International Player Pathway program (NFL IPP). Zepeda’s impressive NFL International combine performance and stellar resume at the college level made him one of the group’s most intriguing prospects. Zepeda spoke on his selection:

“The creation of the IPP (international pathway player program) open the eyes of many people. Especially since we can see it worked with Mexicans coming out of the program before. that motivated not only myself but many Mexican players.”

Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway program aims to give elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

So far, the program has helped players such as Jordan Mailata (Philadelphia Eagles/Australia), Sammis Reyes (Washington Football Team/Chile), and Jakob Johnson (New England Patriots/Germany) earn roster spots in the NFL.

Zepada hopes to follow in the footsteps of former teammates Isaac Alarcón and Alfredo Gutierrez and join them in the pros. The 23-year-old played with Alarcón and next to Gutierrez in 2019 as part of a stacked Borregos offensive line. Now after watching their success, he’s hoping to and become the third Mexican offensive lineman from Monterrey Tech’s principal campus to burst into the NFL. If the Borregos heavy trend continues, Zepeda is likely to be picked up by an NFL team.

Watch Zepeda at the NFL International Combine in Mexico

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and