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Female kicker to test leg at NFL regional combine

Published On: Feb 21 2013 10:13:54 AM CST
closeup of football laces

iStock/joecicak

The first woman to participate in an NFL regional scouting combine will tee it up March 2-3 as a long shot to advance to a super regional in Dallas but a pioneer of sorts in pro football.

Lauren Silberman of New York will attend a regional in New Jersey as a kicker. The former club soccer player at Wisconsin is the first female registrant in the three years since the regional combines were launched.

"I was actually hoping that the 2012 historical milestone rule, to allow women to play, would prompt more women to attend tryouts this year," 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."

The 28-year-old Silberman has not followed the traditional path of most aspiring kickers. She went to graduate school at MIT and wrote a master's thesis on athletes using video games to improve performance. That research led to her starting a consulting company, Double Play, that provides athletes with assistance in using video games for virtual training.

"The opportunity to attend this event could not be more exciting," she 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."

The regional scouting combines debuted in 2011. This year, they are being held in 10 cities, with the top players advancing to the super regional in April in Dallas.