While collegiate football has welcomed a few notable female kickers in the past (including Katie Hnida of the New Mexico Lobos, who inspired a colorful rant from coach Gary Burnett), the gridiron has never seen a female defensive back at the college level: until now.
Shelby Osborne, a high school senior from Indiana, has made history by signing with Kentucky's Cambellsville University and will suit up for the Tigers this fall.
Osborne played just one season for Jefferson High School, deciding to join the d-line when she saw how much the team was struggling. “We weren’t playing to the best of our ability,” she told 12 News, a local ABC affiliate. “I believed at the time and I ended up shouting that I could play better than that from the sidelines.”
Of course, proving to a team of men in arguably one of the most hyper-masculine sports in America that a girl is a viable teammate was difficult at first. After awhile, however, her talent spoke for itself. “I started winning them over one by one, and the more I played, the more they saw that I was serious about it,” she said.
Osborne’s first official college workout will be August 8, and so far, the high school senior shows no sign of stopping. “You have to follow your dreams relentlessly and tenaciously,” she said. “You can’t stop. You just got to go for it.”