MIT alumni are known for a “do-anything” mindset but Lauren Silberman SM ’10 may have set the loftiest goal yet. Despite not playing on the football team at MIT (or anywhere else), she is attempting to become the first Institute alum and first woman to play in the National Football League (NFL).
After a video of Silberman successfully kicking NFL-range field goals was viewed by her friends, she was encouraged to register for an NFL regional scouting combine, which allows draft-eligible players who are not attending the league’s invite-only National Combine to perform in front of NFL scouts and coaches. The first woman to participate, Silberman will be one of 40 kickers competing at the March 3 combine in New Jersey. The best players from the 21 nationwide regionals will be invited the league’s Super Regional Combine in Dallas on April 7.
A club soccer player as an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin, Silberman is a self-described long shot who will be competing against successful college football kickers. But her pursuit of history has garnered media attention and she was interviewed on NFL.com.
From NFL.com’s Wake-Up Call:
“I realize I may not make an NFL team this year but I’m expecting to have fun and hopefully perfect my technique from the other tremendous kickers that will be in attendance… I’m going to be doing a lot of practicing from now until the tryout but I’m really seething to start nailing those 60 yarders.”
While Silberman does not have much of an athletic resume, her academic career was sport-focused. Her MIT thesis focused on how sports video games can enhance athletic performance—as does her consulting company, Double Play Media—and she was featured in a 2010 Wired article, “Game Changers: How Videogames Trained a Generation of Athletes.”
The NFL Network describes Silberman’s odds as “pretty much non-existent” but we’re hesitant to ever completely doubt an MIT alum. Slice will monitor Silberman’s progress and report back after the combine. Good luck, Lauren!