Becca Longo, 18, is believed to have become the first female in history to earn a football scholarship with a top-tier college team when she signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Adams State University.
Longo, a high school senior from Arizona, said she would tell young girls who have big dreams like her to “do what you love” and ignore the negativity.
“If they want to play football, go out and play football. If they want to play hockey, they can go out and play hockey,” Longo said today on “Good Morning America.” “Just don’t listen to all the negativity because you’re going to get a lot of it.”
“Just go do what you love,” she said.
Longo was introduced at a signing ceremony Wednesday at Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, as the first woman to sign a letter of intent to play football at a Division II level college or higher, according to ESPN.
Longo, who will also play basketball at Adams State, said she was as surprised as anyone.
“I didn’t believe that it was true,” she said. “I just remember sitting there and Coach [Gerald] Todd saying that I was the first girl to ever do that. ... I was so blown away.”
Making Longo’s rise to the ranks of college football even more improbable is that she only played football for two seasons in high school.
“I started playing my sophomore year and then I transferred schools so I had to sit out my junior year and I didn’t get to play until my senior year,” Longo said. “I didn’t really expect to play after high school until sort of the middle of my senior season, which is kind of late.”
Longo also overcame injuries and defied doctors’ expectations in her rise to become a college athlete.
“The doctors told me that I couldn’t play sports ever again and I just kind of like used that as motivation to prove them wrong,” she said. “I love both of my sports too much to just give up and I’ve spent so much time and money and effort just to just let it all go.”