Lauren Silberman, a soccer player at Wisconsin, will become the first woman to compete in the NFL regional combine in two weeks. Silberman will participate as a kicker. A new rule went into effect in 2012 allowing women to compete. Thus far, Silberman’s the only way to take the challenge.
“I was not aware that I was the first female registrant,” Silberman told NFL.com on Tuesday. “I was actually hoping that the 2012 historical milestone rule, to allow women to play, would prompt more women to attend tryouts this year. But for me, what’s important is to finally have a chance to fulfill my dreams by trying out to play in the world’s most competitive football league.”
Before you dismiss this as a stunt, a brief reminder: college kickers are among the worst scholarship athletes out there. Even at top notch programs, getting someone to consistently make a 40-yard field goal has proven to be quite difficult.
Georgia’s kicker finished the season 8/14 for 57.1%. A&M’s kicker finished 13/22 for 59.1%. Stanford’s kicker finished 17/27 for 63%.
All those teams finished in the AP top 10.
We’re not that far off from a woman kicking in the NFL and I, for one, welcome it. The best leagues need to have the best players, regardless of gender.