18-year-old Becca Longo is already the first female to earn a football scholarship to a Division II or higher college and now she has her sights set on the NFL. Longo, who signed a letter of intent to play football at D-II Adams State University back in April, even has a coach helping her out, Alex Zendejas, who comes from a very long line of former NFL kickers. And he thinks she has a genuine shot at making even more history.
Bleacher Report shares some of the details why…
“You are like my second father, and you’re a huge reason I’m doing this,” says Becca Longo, the pupil, riding shotgun. “You’ve made this happen.”
“What separates you from everyone else is that you stuck with it, even in the hard times,” says Alex Zendejas, the teacher and a member of football’s most famous kicking family. “You have all the potential in the world. Keep at it, and who knows? Maybe you’ll be the first female playing on Sundays.”
Longo’s new head coach also knows a thing or two about making to the NFL…
“If you can play football and you have determination, I don’t care what your gender is,” says Timm Rosenbach, a former NFL quarterback and the head coach at Adams State. “And Becca can play, simple as that. She’s got accuracy and she’s got a powerful leg, which will only get stronger. We brought her to Adams State for a reason: to compete for a job and help us win football games.”
In high school, after almost zero experience kicking a football, Longo attended a kicking camp filled several former NFL kickers, and she impressed.
Bob and Andrea drove their daughter to a kicking camp hosted by the Arizona Cardinals at Gilbert Christian High, about 20 minutes from Queen Creek. Becca was raw as she kicked in front of the likes of Nick Lowery, Mike Vanderjagt and Chandler Catanzaro, but she flashed so much potential that a few coaches and former NFL players handed their business cards to Bob, telling him that they could mold his daughter into something special. Bob eventually spoke to Alex Zendejas and asked him if he’d coach his daughter.
“I need to work her out,” Zendejas told Bob. “I need to see how badly she wants it.”
They met a few days later in a parking lot next to the football field at Queen Creek High. Zendejas eyed Longo as she stepped out of a car. “My first impression was that she was athletic and strong and tall,” Zendejas says.
The teacher then quizzed Longo about her goals, wanting to know if she was serious about learning how to kick. “I’m strong-willed; trust me,” Longo told Zendejas. “This is something I’m going to stick with.”
In her first season of kicking on the junior varsity team, Longo made 30 out of 33 extra points and was 4-for-4 on field goals.
Now she’ll be playing for Adams State when the season kicks off (pun intended) this fall. After that? Who knows? It might just be the NFL.
Oh yeah, she also dabbles in basketball…