Vanderbilt football needs a kicker, and women's soccer player Sarah Fuller could be the answer. Commodores coach Derek Mason appeared on 102.5 The Game in Nashville on Wednesday and revealed that Fuller "is an option for us." The student newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler, reported that Fuller practiced with the football team on Tuesday as many of the specialists are in quarantine due to COVID-19 testing.
"She's got a strong leg. We'll see what that yields," Mason said as reported by ESPN. "... Sarah's an option. She seems to be a pretty good option, so we'll figure out what that looks like on Saturday." It is believed that if Fuller plays in Vanderbilt's game against Missouri on Saturday, she will be the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game. Women playing college football is not uncommon as there have been more than a handful to play as a kicker or a holder. Liz Heaston is the first woman to score in a college football game, and that took place in 1997 as she kicked two extra points for Willamette, a school that competes in NAIA. In 2003, New Mexico kicker Katie Hnida because the first female to score in a Division I FBS game, kicking two extra points in a 72-8 win against Texas State.
Fuller is a goalkeeper for Vanderbilt's women's soccer team. She appeared in nine games last season and made 28 saves. Last weekend, Fuller recorded three saves to help the Commodores beat Arkansas and win the SEC tournament championship. Vanderbilt is looking to get something going this season as they have yet to win a game. The last time the Commodores had a winning season was in 2013 when then-head coach James Franklin led the team to a 9-4 record and a win at the BBVA Compass Bowl.
"As you look at this football team, I think this football team has had to truly be relentless," Mason said to reporters this week when talking about leadership on the team this year. "I'm talking about in terms of how they look at these days, and I said it a long time ago when we started the season: I talked about a Mamba Mentality. It had to be about attacking spaces that weren’t necessarily comfortable for you."