Sports | November 28, 2020 6:48 pm

Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller Is the First Woman to Play Power 5 Football

She's also the SEC's first female football player

Vanderbilt v Missouri
Sarah Fuller of the Vanderbilt Commodores walks on the field prior to a game against the Mizzou Tigers.
Hunter Dyke/Mizzou Athletics via Getty Images

Earlier today, the second half of a Power 5 matchup between Vanderbilt and Missouri began with Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller kicking off. In doing so, Fuller became the first women to play football in a Power 5 or SEC game. Fuler normally plays a different sport for Vanderbilt: she’s part of the women’s soccer team, which won the SEC Tournament earlier this year.

Vanderbilt’s special teams roster has been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, with several players missing today’s game because of the need to quarantine. Hence the team looking to another sport to find someone skilld at kicking the ball long distances.

On Vanderbilt’s website, Fuller addressed the challenges before her for the game. “I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can,” she said. “Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don’t want to let them down in any way.”

Fuller’s presence in the game drew support from fans of both teams, as well as from the larger athletic community — the SEC, Billie Jean King and the Tennessee Titans all voiced their support. In the end, Missouri emerged victorious in the game, winning 41-0; still, it was Fuller and Vanderbilt who made history.