An Arizona high school student will start her college career in the fall as the first woman to receive a football scholarship at a Division II university.
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On Wednesday, Becca Longo, 18, of Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, signed a letter of intent to play for Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. Longo will join the university’s football team as a kicker. She’ll also join the women’s basketball team at the school.
According to ESPN, about a dozen women have played on college football teams, but none have received a scholarship for such a high division NCAA-affiliated program.
Longo caught the attention of Adams State coaches when she sent highlight videos to the football department at the school. Adams State offensive coordinator Josh Blankenship visited Basha High School to see Longo on the field. He was impressed, and soon after, Longo was offered a scholarship.
Adams State head football coach Timm Rosenbach said he didn’t know that Longo was the first woman to receive an NCAA football scholarship out of high school.
"I don't look at it that way," he told the Arizona Republic. "My wife is a former pro athlete. I see (Longo) as a football player who earned it.
“It was like recruiting any other athlete... To me, there is no doubt she can be competitive. She has a strong leg, and she can be very accurate.”
Longo, who started playing football during her sophomore year of high school, said she was inspired by a female player who played on her older brother’s high school football team.
“I’m ready to compete,” Longo said. “I don’t really have any expectations beyond that.”