A teenage girl from Indiana is about to make history in the world of college sports.
Shelby Osborne has landed a spot as college football’s first-ever female defensive back after signing with the Campbellsville University Tigers in Kentucky, Good Morning America reports.
Osborne graduates from high school Saturday after playing only one season of football.
She said she was inspired to play when she noticed the team struggling during a game.
“We weren’t playing to the best of our ability,” Osborne told GMA. “I believed at the time and I ended up shouting that I could play better than that from the sidelines.”
Once on the team, she said she had to work to earn her teammates’ respect, but that she began winning them over one by one.
“And the more I played,” she continued, “the more they saw that I was serious about it.”
Osborne’s coach, Lonnie Oldham, said she deserved her spot on the team.
“She did all the physical stuff,” Oldham said. “She’s taken some hits, but she always gets up.”
Her limited experience, however, and the fact that she is a woman, made it hard to win over the attention of colleges.
All of that changed when she visited Campbellsville.
“I went up to Coach (Perry) Thomas and said ‘Hi, my name is Shelby Osborne.’ I explained who I was, who I played for,” she told GMA.
Osborne received her acceptance letter Wednesday and said it was the news she ever received.
Her first official college workout is August 8.
“You have to follow your dreams relentlessly and tenaciously,” she said. “You can’t stop. You just got to go for it.”
*Good Morning America contributed to this post.