18-year-old From Arizona Looking To Become 1st Woman To Make It To The NFL
Becca Longo began playing football competitively as a sophomore in highschool and it paid off back in April after she made history by signing a letter of intent to play football at Adams State University, an NCAA Division II school in Alamosa, Colorado. Longo, who is 18, is the first female to earn a football scholarship to an NCAA school at the Division II level or higher.
Longo is so good at knocking down field goals, her career in college may not end there. You could be seeing more of her in the NFL, at least according to Longo’s coach, Alex Zendejas.
“What separates you from everyone else is that you stuck with it, even in the hard times,” Zendejas told Longo, according to a profile by the Bleacher Report. “You have all the potential in the world. Keep at it, and who knows? Maybe you’ll be the first female playing on Sundays,” he said, referring to the day of the week on which the majority of NFL games are played.
As a freshman in high school, she surprised a group of boys — and herself — when she blasted a ball across the field on a dare. That same day, Longo spoke with her father about trying to become the school’s kicker. After an inexperienced Longo wowed a group of former players and coaches at a workout, famed kicker Mike Vanderjagt among them, she began practicing with Zendejas and his son, Alex Jr., a former Arizona kicker who is perhaps best known for missing a crucial extra-point attempt in 2009 against Arizona State in double-overtime. After her first day of practice with Zendejas, she went and spoke to the athletic director of her high school.
“I want to play football,” she told him. “I want to kick.”
In her first season kicking for her school’s Junior Varsity team, Longo made 34 out of 37 attempted kicks. She’s faced doubters too. “I’ve heard people say that I’m just a publicity stunt, that I don’t deserve this chance,” Longo told the Bleacher Report. “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.”
“Kicking isn’t about all the makes; it’s about how you respond to the misses,” he said. “This is what I tell Becca. She’s going to confront difficult times. How she responds will define her. But she’s ready. She’s ready for anything.”
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 14, 2017
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Happy #nationalsiblingsday to not only my brother but my bestfriend❤ thank you for always being a great role model and inspiration for me through out the years! You always were and always will be my hero and I love you more than you’ll ever know fuzz! @kristinvigil you got a good one and I know you’ll take care of him for me!
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Super blessed to say that I will be continuing both my football and basketball careers in Colorado at Adams State University Go Grizzlies! A post shared by Becca Longo (@beccalongo5) on
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