LOUISVILLE, Ky. — She may have little legs but 9-year-old Blakely Touche from Louisville could out run almost anyone.
She is so fast that it landed her in the Super Bowl this year catching the eye of Baltimore Ravens star and former UofL football player, Lamar Jackson.
“Girls can do the same thing as boys and boys can do the same thing as girls it’s just not one sport that boys have to do,” Touche said. “Basketball is really fun and so is soccer, but my first favorite is football.”
Touche is in 4th grade at Christian Academy of Louisville.
“All my friends started playing and I was like why can’t I play football? My dad started coaching me.” Touche said. “Just because you’re little doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed in what you want to do in life.”
The 9-year-old has already proved that through her love of football.
“Yes I’m pretty fast I kind of think I am,” Touche said.
The 9-year-old was chosen to represent the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL’s “Next 100” Super Bowl ad. The ad, which aired just before the game, featured some of the league’s biggest stars plus 32 young fans. Touche was also able to attend the game in Miami.
“It was like a dream come true for me,” Touche said.
Louisville Athletics posted a video of the surprise on Twitter last month as the announcer introduced Touche as a great flag football player and a “rising star in the Louisville community.”
“When the Ravens picked her they had no clue we were from Louisville so the only thing that we can submit was her age, her name and the video,” Touche’s mother, Gina Touche said.
Gina Touche said they were one out of 18,000 families who applied for the competition.
“In our hearts we knew she had a really good fighting chance because she’s blessed with this talent,” Gina Touche said. “As soon as we found out, it was just perfect because Lamar Jackson played Louisville football and we’ve been watching him his college career.”
In the ad, Touche rocked her favorite player’s jersey.
“Number 8 it’s for Lamar Jackson because he played for Louisville,” Touche said. “He’s my idol like I want to be him when I grow up.”
Touche’s parents said she’d been playing football since she was 8-years-old, and scored 19 touchdowns in four games.
“As parents I think it’s our responsibility to kind of recognize that in our kids and push them in that direction and see if they thrive in it,” Gina Touche said. “She’s been thriving so we’re kind of going with the flow.”
Touche said she hopes to one day be a part of the NFL or work behind the scenes for the Baltimore Ravens.
“You can run, you can get exercise and it’s a team sport,” Touche said. “It’s not just about winning it’s about having fun even though I do like to win.”
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