History

How it Started

  • Texas vs. the Nation began as an idea to bring a sense of rivalry and teamwork back to the all-star arena.
  • After considering other locations including Aruba, the Bahamas, Phoenix, and San Diego, CEO Kenny Hansmire selected El Paso and the Sun Bowl Stadium to host the inaugural game.
  • Texas vs. the Nation would pit top collegiate senior all-stars with ties to the state of Texas against top seniors from around the Nation.

The Inaugural Game – 2007

Don’t Mess With Texas Challenge: Texas vs. the Nation
Friday, February 2, 2007
Attendance: 21,548
Players Signed: 79 out of 108 (73%)

  • On Friday, February 2, 2007, the inaugural Texas vs. the Nation game kicked-off in close to freezing weather.
  • Attendance broke the record for first year all-star games with 21,548 fans in the stands.
  • Team Nation, coached by Buddy Ryan, defeated Team Texas and Mike Price 24-20.
  • The 79 players who signed NFL contracts broke the record for the highest number of NFL signees to come out of a first year all-star game.
  • Ranked in the top 10 all-time record for signees in an all-star game
  • 12 players were selected in the 2007 draft, including five  4th round picks
  • Sponsors included presenting sponsor, Texas Department of Transportation and the Don’t Mess With Texas campaign, Southwest Airlines, City and County of El Paso, Painted Dunes, CSTV, Russell Athletics, Wilson Sporting Goods

Western Refining Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge – 2008

Saturday, February 2, 2008
Attendance: 26, 821
Players Signed: 102 out of 124 (82%)

  • Attendance increased in the game’s second year with a Saturday afternoon kick-off.
  • Legendary Alabama coach Gene Stallings led Team Texas to a 41-14 victory over Buddy Ryan and Team Nation.
  • The 102 NFL signees ranked number one all-time among all-star games.
  • 18 players were selected in the NFL draft including a 3rd round pick, 79th overall.
  • Western Refining joined the Texas vs. the Nation team as title sponsor and the City and County of El Paso signed a 10 year commitment to keep the game in El Paso.
  • Other sponsors included Southwest Airlines, TxDOT, Shamaley Ford, CSTV, Russell Athletics, Wilson Sporting Goods

Western Refining Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge – 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009
Attendance: 42,387
Players Signed: 111 out of 119 (93%)

  • Attendance almost doubled in the third year of the game with more than 40 ,000
  • Team Nation, led by Howard Schnellenberger, defeated Gene Stallings and Team Texas 27-24.
  • Another record breaking signee class was set with 25 drafted, and 80 signed with 3 more expected to sign.
  • Nationally televised on CBS College Sports

 

Pro Football Hall of Fame Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge-2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Attendance: 26,40`
Players Signed: 110 out of 116 (95%)

  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame signed on as title sponsor for the Texas vs. The Nation game.
  • Another record was set as an NFL candidate class with 31 Texas vs the Nation players drafted, and 79 signed.
  • Over a two-year period a total of 56 players have been selected and over 94% of the total players who  received an invitation to the game (221 of 234) have been drafted, signed or have been given free agent workouts.
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