Nationwide — Leilani Armenta has become the first female football player for an HBCU team after she recently kicked off the game for Jackson State against Bethune-Cookman. Her historic feat has received different opinions.
According to the Jackson Advocate, Armenta, a freshman who joined the team only 4 days before the season began, was chosen for the game’s opening kick sending the ball a modest 25 yards to the Wildcats’ 40-yard line.
However, this kickoff received some online criticism, with commentators suggesting she was a last-minute addition to the team due to injuries. It may have seemed like Jackson State was playing her just for publicity, according to some news outlets.
While others believe that she was just chosen for a viral moment, her stats reveal otherwise. She has a solid background in high school football, spending four years as a kicker. Her high school career boasted impressive stats: 98 out of 105 point-after attempts made, a perfect 5 out of 5 on-field goal attempts, 3,552 kickoff yards, two touchbacks, and three onside recoveries.
Remarkably, she even played her entire senior season with an ACL injury and she still currently plays with a brace on her right knee.