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Shelby OsborneHave you ever been on the sidelines of a game and felt like you could play better than the athletes on the field? Shelby Osborne felt that way after attending a lopsided high school football game.

The 5’6″ 140-pound high school senior from Jeffersonville, Indiana approached her team’s coach who told her if she performed well she could play.  Now she is about to become the first female defensive back in college football history.

Osborne played tennis and soccer as an underclassman, and also joined the track team, so she knew what it took to be a successful athlete. She broke the mold for female football players however, when she lined up as a cornerback instead of kicker.

“I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t let us come to her games,” her mother, Kim, said. “She was afraid that her dad would end up in a scuffle and she knew that I would find out that she wasn’t just the kicker.”

Osborne’s opponents may be six inches taller or 100 pounds heavier, but she is never intimidated. After her varsity high school season ended, Osborne wasn’t ready to hang up her cleats so she got in contact with 200 schools  mostly in Kentucky, Florida and North Carolina. But when the schools found out she was a girl, the conversation quickly dissipated.

That was until last Wednesday, when Campbellsville University had a recruiting visit with Osborne and she signed her letter of intent with the Tigers to be part of the class of 2018.

Only eight women have played collegiate football before Osborne, and none at her position.  The principal at Osborne’s high school,  also a woman, is proud of Osborne’s achievements and considers her a role model.

With the news of Osborne’s signing, many have focused on her gender, but the young recruit is more concerned with her footwork and upcoming college debut than the barriers she has broken.

“I’m just one of the guys,” she said. “I want the same treatment, to hit just as hard.”

Since she signed her Letter of Intent, Osborne had been contacted by other girls who play, or want to play, football along with many other supporters.

If you want to wish Osborne well, reach out on Twitter @WontQuitTilIDie or Instagram @cornerbackprincess to show your support.

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June 13, 2014
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