By Preston Bradsher | December 1, 2021
Sarah Fuller made college football history on Saturday in Vanderbilt University’s game against Missouri, becoming the first woman to play in a Power Five game.
Ironically, the game-changing moment was made possible by the continuing setbacks COVID-19 has forced on the college football landscape. Vanderbilt’s coaching squad found themselves in a tight spot last week when several of their specialists were quarantined, meaning they would be short a kicker for Saturday’s game.
Fuller was an out-of-the-box choice, but there was no question as to her capability. Fuller plays for Vanderbilt’s soccer team as a goalkeeper, so taking big punts is nothing new to her. She came into the spotlight directly from another big win just a week before, when she backstopped the Commodores to their first SEC Tournament championship since 1994.
Fuller took her landmark first kickoff with the eyes of the nation on her, and she did not disappoint. Sporting a helmet with “Play Like a Girl” on the back, she calmly executed for her team on short notice, and carried the legacy of women in football another inch forward.
Though the coverage of her historic achievement has been duly significant, Fuller was not the first woman to take bold steps into the world of college football. The women who came before her have paved the way for Saturday’s big moment, and their history is well worth knowing. To that end, here’s a brief timeline of some of the biggest moments for women in college football history.