Sarah Fuller, Vanderbilt kicker, will be the first woman to play in Power Five

Adam Sparks

| Nashville Tennessean


Vanderbilt player Sarah Fuller started the second half against Missouri on Saturday and became the first woman to play in a Power Five football game.

It was a fun kick to the 35-yard line in Missouri.

Fuller, the senior goalkeeper for Vanderbilt’s football team, was asked this week to join the football team after tracking COVID-19 relationships exhausted the roster of professionals. Alan George, a spokesman for Vanderbilt, said he was the only kicker who traveled with the Commodores to Missouri, Columbia.

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Punter / holder Harrison Smith and long snap Wesley Schelling also made their way.

On Sunday, Fuller led the Vanderbilt football team to an SEC title. On Saturday, he wore his helmet on his No. 32 football jersey and “Play Like a Girl.”

“He’s been playing football since he was 4. He’s been playing football for about four days,” said Sarah’s mother, Windi Fuller, at ESPN SportsCenter. “So it was an experience and a huge learning curve for him.

Fuller is the first woman to play at the Power Five conference, including the SEC. He follows Katie Hnida of New Mexico (2003) and Kent State of April Goss (2015), who both scored points as kickers in FBS games, albeit at Group Five conferences.

Watching: Watch the video of Sarah Fuller warming up for Vanderbilt football in Missouri

The women have performed a few times at college football games since 1997, when Liz Heaston kicked two extra points for Willamette, then a NAIA program.

“We just hope this is a wonderful experience for her, as well as for all the women across the country,” Fuller’s mother said.

What Fuller’s father thought about playing football

Fuller was a somewhat practical choice for Vanderbilt’s temporary kick. As a football player, the NCAA has already ruled him eligible. In addition, he participated in the SEC COVID-19 test program, which requires three tests a week for athletes during the season.

Fuller is a 6-foot, physically talented athlete. But obviously college football is more violent than football. So what did your father think about Fuller playing football?

“I’m less worried about being on the football field today because I’m the craze that surrounds me,” Brandon Fuller said. “I think he’s very capable. … The action played during the game doesn’t worry at all. It’s just the madness and everything else worries.”

Reach out to Adam Sparks at [email protected] and Twitter @AdamSparks.