Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

This Incoming College Student Wants to Be the First Female NFL Player

A recent high school graduate from Phoenix, Ariz. is busting stereotypes—and challenging restrictions—against women playing on men’s sports teams.

In April, Becca Longo signed her letter of intent to play football for Adams State University, a Division II college in Alamosa, Colorado. The Los Angeles Times confirms that she is the first woman to ever receive a football scholarship at a Division I or II school. 

Longo has the stats to back her extraordinary achievement for gender equity in sports. She scored an average of 4.1 points per game—which, if you don’t speak football, is a huge deal for a high school kicker. She’s not stopping at being the first female collegiate football player, either. According to a Bleacher Report profile, Longo aspires to play in the NFL one day.

Achieving that dream isn’t going to be easy. A recent Forbes report deemed the NFL “the ultimate boys club,” and very few women work for the NFL even at the corporate level, according to senior corporate official Constance Schwartz-Morini. Making it onto the field is even harder—no woman has ever played football professionally for an NFL team.

When it came time to select new team members, Adams State football coaches knew that Longo had talent—her gender was an afterthought. “It was like recruiting any other athlete,” coach Timm Rosenbach told The Arizona Republic of offering Longo a spot on his team. “To me, there is no doubt she can be competitive.”

Longo’s sudden legacy as the first woman to receive a football scholarship hasn’t been received kindly by everyone. “I’ve heard people say that I’m a publicity stunt,” she told Bleacher Report. But, she said, “I don’t let that bother me,” explaining that she focuses on her professional goals to tune out the haters.

Longo will start her collegiate football career this July when she heads to Adams State for training camp. As if her football talent wasn’t inspiring enough, she also plans to play on their women’s basketball team. We hope to see her name on an NFL jersey in the future.