NEW YORK—For the first time in history, a woman will join the NFL Regional Combine in New Jersey, where local players who were not invited to a similar event held last week will show their skills to NFL scouts.
Lauren Silberman, 28, wants to become a place-kicker and is hoping to advance to the next stage—the Super Regional Combine in Dallas, Texas—according to USA Today. She was motivated to compete after a video surfaced of her kicking field goals from distances like those kicked in the NFL at an exhibition event.
“I saw the opportunity and had to go for it,” Silberman told USA Today. “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.”
The Regional Combines cost $225 to $275 to participate in and are meant “to provide an opportunity for participants to display their pro potential and to help ensure that no worthy player is overlooked,” according to the NFL website. The combines were launched last year.
Silberman cited a rule that allows women to play in the NFL, passed in 2012, that also prompted her to join, and she said that she was surprised she is the first female registrant.
Silberman is “the ultimate long shot in an event full of them,” according to an NFL article.She played varsity soccer and lacrosse in high school and also enjoys tennis and basketball. Her interest in sports led her, as a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to write a Master’s thesis on how athletes can use video games to improve performance.
Silberman’s favorite team?
“The team that takes me!”