Becca Longo was about to make history and she didn’t even know it.
When the Chandler (Ariz.) Basha High senior signed her national letter of intent with Division II Adams State on Wednesday, she became the first female football player to do so for a college at that level or higher.
Her high school football coach announced the feat during a signing ceremony, and ESPN later confirmed that no woman has ever played Division I or II football on scholarship.
"I didn't know that until today," said Longo, who has also committed to play basketball for the Grizzlies. "I'm still in shock from it. I'm just amazed."
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.
Longo kicked for her junior varsity team as a sophomore but had to sit out her junior season after transferring to Basha. She overcame a back injury to make the varsity squad this season and connected on 35 of 38 extra-point attempts.
Comfortable kicking from 45 yards out, Longo only attempted one field goal in a game all season — a 30-yarder — because her team, led by Arizona State-signee Ryan Kelley at quarterback, usually went for it on fourth down.
But she earned an offer from Adams State, located in Alamosa, Colo., after kicking for the coaching staff during an official visit in February. The team also signed another kicker earlier in the off-season and has one more returning to the roster.
"I'm ready to compete," Longo said. "I don't really have any expectations beyond that."
Grizzlies Coach Timm Rosenbach said of Longo: “To me, there is no doubt she can be competitive. She has a strong leg, and she can be very accurate."