NFL first: Female will participate at regional combine
Lauren Silberman, a 28-year-old former college soccer player, will become the first female to participate in an NFL regional combine when she takes the field on March 3 in New Jersey.
The NFL's regional combine in New Jersey on March 3 will have something this week's combine in Indianapolis doesn't have: a female. Lauren Silberman, 28, a former college soccer player, will attend the regional combine as a kicker and break new ground in the process.
"I was not aware that I was the first female registrant," Silberman told NFL.com. "But for me, what's important is to finally have a chance to fulfill my dreams by trying out to play in the world's most competitive football league."
In case you're wondering, the NFL is a female-friendly league -- meaning women are more then welcome to try out. "The NFL has no male-only rule. All human beings are eligible as long as they are three years out of high school and have a usable football skill set," league spokeman Greg Aiello told ESPN.com.
Silberman's kicking acumen comes from spending her college years as a soccer player at Wisconsin, according to NFL.com. Silberman's attempt to go from kicking a soccer ball to kicking a football will happen at the Jets practice facility.
The regional combine allows players not invited to the Indianapolis combine to show off their talents to NFL scouts. A successful showing at one of the NFL's many regional combines can lead to an invite to the April 7 super combine in Dallas.
"The opportunity to attend this event could not be more exciting," Silberman said. "Getting to meet interesting people and perfect my technique from others could not be more rewarding. Regardless of the outcome of the tryout, I hope there is a way I can contribute and strengthen the league."
Although the odds of Silberman getting to the NFL are slim, it's not impossible to turn a regional combine tryout into an NFL career. Just ask St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein. Zuerlein was one of four players in 2012 who went through the regional combine process and ended up getting selected in the NFL Draft.
If the kicking thing doesn't work out for Silberman, she may want to consider a job consulting NFL players. Silberman wrote her Master thesis at MIT on how athletes use video games to enhance their own performance.
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