An Arizona teenager will become the first woman to play college football on a scholarship at the Division II level or higher.
Becca Longo, an 18-year-old from Chandler Basha High School in suburban Phoenix, has signed a national letter of intent with Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado.
The 5ft 11in, 140lb place-kicker is thought the be the first of the dozen or so documented women to have played college football to play on a full ride.
“I contacted (Adams State) during the season, and after the season I got contacted back by them,” Longo told 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.”
Longo made 30 of 33 extra-point attempts and converted a 30-yard field-goal try in eight games for the Bears as a senior, according to Maxpreps.com. She is not the first woman to play college football, but none of her predecessors have played on scholarship at a Division II level or higher.
Liz Heaston, who played for NAIA school Williamette in 1997, is believed to be the first woman to ever score a point in a college game. Jacksonville State’s Ashley Martin, the first woman to play at the Division I level, made three extra points in 2001 as a walk-on player.
Katie Hnida became the only woman to ever score in FBS competiton – college football’s highest level – with New Mexico in 2003, though she was also a walk-on.
Longo also intends to play basketball for the women’s team at Adams State as a walk-on.