First Female Athlete Wins Division II Football Scholarship

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Becca Longo of Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, will attend Adams State and join the football team as a placekicker.

Longo kicked for her junior varsity team as a sophomore but had to sit out her junior season after transferring to Basha.

Kyle Bonagura of ESPN reported Longo signed her letter of intent to play for Adams State on Wednesday.

"I didn't know that until today", said Longo, who has also committed to play basketball for the Grizzlies.

"She's kind of put herself out there to let everyone know she wants to do this", Rosenbach said.

Jacksonville State's Ashley Martin made three extra points in 2001, when she was the first woman in Division I ball.

Last year, she won a starting job on field goals and extra points, but she wasn't given kickoff duties.

When she was younger, Longo said, she looked up to one of her older brother's teammates, Heidi Garrett, who kicked a 48-yard field goal - believed to be the longest ever by a girl in a competitive game - for Riverside King in 2004.

Adams State, which is located in Alamosa, Colorado, is scheduled to open its 2017 campaign on the road against Black Hills State in South Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 2.

Longo went on to make 30 out of 33 point-after tries, as well as connecting on a 30-yard in-game field goal during her senior year.

Shortly after that visit, she was offered a scholarship. Eventually, an assistant coach came by the school, which led to an official visit in February.

Longo told ESPN that she is aware of the competition at Adams State. There have been about a dozen documented women that have played college football, but none of those who played for NCAA-affiliated programs were on scholarship. It's hard to say anything with certainty about students' financial-aid packages over the years, but I don't think anybody else has signed an LOI - at least not in D-I or D-II, as Longo's coach indicated.

Longo will be playing for former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Timm Rosenbach. "I don't really have any expectations beyond that".

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