Bonnie Goods was paying attention.
She was at a football camp with her son, Mike Wyman. The tall wide receiver had caught the eye of some major football programs, but it was South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp that drew the attention of Goods.
Gamecocks football often sells itself as a “family,” welcoming in new members, and her observation resonated with that.
“The breaker for me was we went for a camp that ended on a Sunday,” Goods said. “There were several coaches there, we met several coaches on that day, and coach Muschamp was the only coach there with his son on a Sunday. It did something to my heart.
“I even knew, if he would be there on a Sunday with his son, then I know he’d spend time with my son. And he did it unconsciously. It was who he was.”
That’s something, through a recruiting process with plenty of big-time coaches, that was different.
On Tuesday, she was standing up in the library at her son’s high school, giving a heartfelt speech moments before he publicly revealed he’ll be joining those Gamecocks and playing for Muschamp.
She noted South Carolina’s offer was one of the earliest, but not the first. There’s been contact throughout, and it was a relief to finally move on to the next step.
But as a mom, there’s a next step she’s not quite ready for.
As she spoke at his ceremony, she talked about the little things, the moments, not having him in the house. She did what all moms seem to do at such an event, dropping a sweet story that had her child squirming (she said she tucked him in every night, drawing a “MOM” from a few seats down).
It’s a hard prospect for any parent.
“Just the thought of him leaving and not being home and not being there every day because, like I said, we’re together every day,” Goods said. “We’re each other’s best friends. So we’re always together. That’s the hard part. But knowing where he’s going and meeting the coaches, I’m OK with it.”
Wyman’s father, Mike Sr., said his son has a good set of footsteps to follow, in three older siblings he looks up to.
The proud dad called the announcement exhilarating, the culmination of a lot that came before. As he looked back at the recruiting process, a few things stood out.
“We went down there to visit,” Mike Wyman Sr. said. “They showed him a lot of love. He liked the coach, the wide receiver coach. He liked the system they run.
“I liked the way the coaches were talking. I like the way we sat down, and they concentrated on him, what he wanted to major in.”