Another barrier in the sports world has been broken. Becca Longo, an 18-year old kicker, is the first woman to accept a football scholarship at the Division 2 level or higher. Longo wasn’t set on making history and was apparently surprised to hear she was, in fact, making some significant history in the football world.
After hearing her coach, Gerald Todd, announce at a press conference that Longo is the first woman to be on scholarship at the Division II level (or higher), Longo was shocked.
“I didn’t know that until today,” Longo said, according to ESPN (ESPN has also confirmed the historical significance of Longo’s scholarship). “I’m still in shock from it. I’m just amazed.”
— Brady (@Focuzed7) April 13, 2017
Not only is Longo the first woman to sign a National Letter of Intent to play college football on scholarship from the state of Arizona, but she’s also the first scholarship football player in the nation. Longo is not the first woman to play in college football, but this is still a significant step forward for women who want to play football.
— ?Lil Juggernaut?7⃣ (@BrittanBuhrig) April 12, 2017
Longo will be playing for Adams State University, which can be found in Colorado. It was, apparently, a place Longo instantly became a fan.
“I contacted them during the season, and after the season I got contacted back by them,” said Longo, per The Arizona Republic. “The offensive coordinator (Josh Blankenship), he told me he wanted me to come out for a visit. I went on my visit and I absolutely fell in love.”
The head coach of the Adams State football program is former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Timm Rosenbach, and he didn’t blink twice about the possibility of offering a female a football scholarship.
“It was like recruiting any other athlete,” Rosenbach said. “In Division II, we can see their workouts. To me, there is no doubt she can be competitive. She has a strong leg and she can be very accurate.”
He’s right. Longo converted on 30 of 33 PAT and hit a 30-yard field goal during her senior season. If you’ve seen high school kicking out there, you know that is not to be taken for granted. And no, it is not the kind of production that will draw the eyes of Arizona State or Colorado, but it fits right in at the D2 level.
The college football world will be watching to see how Longo does, as she sets the path for other young women who want to dabble in college football. This kicker from Pennsylvania may be on her way too.