No Woman Had Ever Earned A College Football Scholarship Until Now

Becca Longo will play for Division II Adams State in Colorado this fall

Image via Becca Longo/Twitter

For years, women across the country have played high school football, and a handful have even gone on to suit up in college, but for the first time, a woman has earned an NCAA football scholarship.

At a ceremony in her high school’s gym, Becca Longo signed a letter of intent to play for Division II Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado this fall. But Adams State head coach and former NFL quarterback, Timm Rosenbach wasn’t offering a scholarship just to make history, telling The Arizona Republic:

“I never heard of it before,” Rosenbach said about Longo being the first female in college football history awarded an NCAA football scholarship out of high school. “I don’t look at it that way. My wife is a former pro athlete. I see her as a football player who earned it.”

Longo didn’t even know she was breaking a barrier when she went to sign her letter. Surrounded by other athletes from her school who were accepting their scholarship offers, the event’s emcee singled her out and announced that the 18-year-old was believed to be the first woman to ever get an offer from a D-II school or above. That came as news to her. "I was completely shocked," Longo told CNN. "Everybody who has it on video said my jaw dropped to the floor."

Inspired by an older brother who played football, Longo picked up the sport her sophomore year. After having to sit out as a junior because she transferred high schools, she took over as kicker for Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona. During her senior season, Longo hit 30 of 33 extra points and nailed the only field goal attempted. She also showed in practice that she had the leg to kick from 48 yards out.

Adams didn’t just stumble upon Longo though. She wanted a scholarship and took the initiative to get a look from a college team by sending video highlights to schools, following Rosenbach on Twitter and reaching out to Adams’ staff directly to get scouted. The team’​s offensive coordinator visited Basha to see Longo and was impressed, eventually leading to the scholarship offer.

When Longo joins Adams State in the fall, the rest of the Grizzly Bears’ roster better be ready for her.

"I'm going to go in, I'm going to be ready to compete," Longo said. "I'm not one to back down to anybody."

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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