NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt’s special teams may provide a special moment as the Commodores’ Sarah Fuller could make history if she kicks in the team’s game against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday. Fuller is set to dress, and if she plays, she’ll be the first female to do so in college football’s Power 5 and the Southeastern Conference.
Fuller is fresh off of an SEC Championship she and her soccer teammates won last Sunday. The senior goalkeeper helped clinch the Commodores’ crown with a save in the 88th minute, Vanderbilt beat Arkansas 3-1 to complete an undefeated tournament. Shortly after the celebration, she received a phone call and a fateful question from one of her coaches: “Have you ever kicked a football before?”
COVID-19 protocols have left the Commodores’ football team short on specialists, and a lack of scholarship players earlier this season led to the original date against the Tigers being postponed. Coach Derek Mason said he may call her into action on Saturday.
“She’s really good with a soccer ball, she seems to be pretty good with a football so we’ll see,” Mason said. “We’re keeping all options open right now, and we’ll get a chance to see what she does on Saturday if given the opportunity.”
Two other female athletes have kicked for Division I schools. Katie Hinda was the first to score at college’s top level when she hit two extra points for the New Mexico Lobos in 2003. April Gross converted an extra point for the Kent State Golden Flashses in a game against Delaware State in 2015.
Fuller would blaze a new trail in being the first female to play in a Power 5 game, which is comprised of the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac 12.
“I think it’s amazing and incredible. But I’m also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do and I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can,” Fuller told vucommodores.com.
“Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don’t want to let them down in anyway.
Vanderbilt will be looking to score its first win of the season when they travel to Faurot Field to play the 3-3 Tigers. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. on the SEC Network.