Becca Longo was one of the best sports stories of 2017. Believed to be the first woman to receive an NCAA football scholarship she would go from Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona to Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. Her story got national attention that wound up with her doing interviews on Good Morning America, ESPN, and CNN. She is currently the second string kicker behind Montana Gomez, who is 6 of 7 on field goals and 30 for 30 on extra points. Becca has yet to kick in a game, but she will get her time. She wears #45 and is listed on the Adams State University roster.
The odds of any college kicker making the jump to the pros is a long shot. Most pro kickers either burn out quickly or play well into their late 30s or early 40s. Meaning that maybe one or two kickers are drafted out of each class, maybe another three get invited to camps to compete. But that doesn't mean it won't happen, and the fact she's gotten this far is a good thing.
Original Headline: Becca Longo – Kicking Her Way To Being The First Woman To Play In The NFL
When it comes to place kickers, there is no more prolific name in professional football than Zendejas. And when coach Alex Zendejas tells people that a prospect is like to continue on past college and into the pros, you definitely keep an eye on them. The latest kicker that caught his eye, 18-year-old Becca Longo from Arizona. She is the first woman to earn a football scholarship at the Division II level or higher. She will be playing this fall at Adam's State University in Alamosa, Colorado.
Female place kickers in the high school level are rare, but Longo saw Heidi Garrett hit a 48-yarder to beat Long's cousin's team when Becca was just 5 years old. That kick is still the record for longest by a high school female. As a freshman, she surprised many when kicked the ball across the field on a dare. She spoke to her father about wanting to become the school's kicker. She did a workout in front of a few former players and coaches, wowing Zendejas and NFL kicker Mike Vanderjagt. She continued practicing with Zendejas and then approached the athletic director of her school. Longo hit 34 of 37 in her first season of Junior Varsity. She now regularly hits from 45 yards out and will be one of a dozen women to have ever played college football at any level.
Zendejas told Longo: "What separates you from everyone else is that you stuck with it, even in the hard times. You have all the potential in the world. Keep at it, and who knows? Maybe you'll be the first female playing on Sundays."
Longo has had her share of doubters: "I've heard people say that I'm just a publicity stunt, that I don't deserve this chance. I don't let that bother me. I just need to stay true to who I am — and stay true to what I've learned and keep improving — and I'll be just fine. I really believe that. I really do."
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 13, 2017
[Source: Bleacher Report]