Just a few weeks ago, Tyler Goodman wasn’t seriously considering playing football at Nichols College.
Why would he?
A quarterback from Parkland, Florida would really have no reason to play at a Division III school more than 1,000 miles north in little-known Dudley, Massachusetts.
Then came Feb. 14, a day Goodman — and each of his classmates — will never forget.
That day, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people.
Amidst the bloodshed, Tyler developed a bond with Nichols assistant coach St. Clair Ryan and dean of admissions Paul Brower, who were at the school on a recruiting visit.
With shots ringing out through the hallways, Goodman told Boston’s WFXT, “They kind of went into father mode.”
And despite the tragic nature of that terrible day, Goodman was able to make a joyful announcement less than two weeks later.
Goodman is heading north.
“I want to thank my Mom & Dad for their support through every bump in the road,” he wrote in a letter announcing his decision, according to WQAM.
“I’ve lost friends and family. But losing them gave me the drive to keep fighting, ‘cause they fought hard enough for me,” he continued. “This one is for all 17 people we lost at home. Also, this one is for my grandfather who I wish was here to see. I am proud to say I am committed to Nichols College — #BISONPRIDE.”
In the blink of an eye, Goodman’s life changed forever, and that experience guided him to Nichols.
“Being stuck with two recruiting coaches for three hours in such a tragic moment,” Goodman said. “We kind of formed that bond. … We formed something special there.”
Tyler plans to wear number 17 to commemorate the 17 people who lost their lives in the shooting.
“My goal now is to succeed so the 17 up there watching can be proud of me. Even though I didn’t know them all, in God’s eyes, we’re all family,” he told WFXT.
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