When 28-year-old Lauren Silberman takes the field Sunday at the NFL Regional Scouting Combine in Florham Park, N.J., the kicking prospect will become the first female to participate in an official NFL tryout, according to Larry Hartstein of CBS Sports.
UPDATE: Sunday, March 3, 3:30 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
According to Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com, Lauren Silberman did not kick well at the combine and may have injured herself in the process:
Silberman went 19 yards in first KO, 13 in 2nd. Now conferring with officials.— Jane McManus (@janesports) March 3, 2013
Silberman isn't taking 3rd attempt, walking with official off the field. #NFL— Jane McManus (@janesports) March 3, 2013
Lauren Silberman heads straight for trainer's table after attempt. #NFL— Jane McManus (@janesports) March 3, 2013
Here is actual footage of the kick (h/t Mike Garafolo).
Lauren Silberman trying out here at the NY/NJ regional combine. vine.co/v/bHuME7n7FJB— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 3, 2013
---End of update---
The New York City resident and former University of Wisconsin club soccer player looks to be invited to the next round of competition—the Super Regional Combine next month in Dallas—despite no experience as a place-kicker at any level.
Silberman talked to Chris Strauss of USA Today about trying out for the NFL and what she hopes to gain from the process:
I saw the opportunity and had to go for it. I love football, new experiences, and wanted to take the chance to learn more about the training process that leads to a successful NFL career. It was a bit of a surprise to some but mostly just an outcry of "That's my girl!" (and) "You go, Silbs!" ... My family and friends seem to be getting a kick out of this.
While the odds are definitely stacked against her, Silberman has the right attitude to do well in the competition of a football tryout setting.
As long as she has trained hard and hits her kicks under pressure from scouts and coaches, there is no reason she won’t advance to the next round of tryouts.
Her lack of kicking experience is the biggest obstacle for Silberman, who will be going up against place-kickers who have been practicing the craft for years.
There should be no prejudice against the female star at the tryouts—the mainstream attention this story has garnered ensures that the process will be transparent and fair—but if she is not talented enough to advance, Silberman will not be invited to Dallas.
It’s just a matter of time before a woman breaks the barrier and plays in the NFL, and judging from her kicking videos, there could be a chance that it’s Silberman.