Marjory Stoneman Douglas quarterback Tyler Goodman committed to play for Division III school Nichols College on Feb. 23. What’s notable about Goodman’s choice is how it was his influenced by a unique bond he formed with the coaches during the mass shooting that killed 17 people, including the athletic director, Chris Hixon and assistant football coach, Aaron Feis.
“It’s been a hard week. I’ve lost friends and I’ve lost family. But losing them gave me the drive to keep fighting cause they’ve fought hard enough for me,” Goodman wrote when announcing his commitment. “This one’s for all 17 people I lost from my home.”
In an interview with Boston’s Fox 25 News, Goodman said that Nichols College, which is based in Dudley, Massachusetts, wasn’t even among his top choices, but that all changed when Nichols’ dean of admissions Paul Brower and assistant football coach St. Clair Ryan huddled with Goodman for three hours during that tragic shooting Feb. 14 shooting.
“They kind of went into father mode,” Goodman said. “Being stuck with two recruiting coaches for three hours in such a tragic moment, we kind of formed that bond in a way. We kind of formed something special then.”
After a visit to campus, Goodman decided to make Nichols his home after high school.
“When I went to Nichols it started snowing. I thought it was a sign from the 17 (who lost their lives),” Goodman said.
“When I first moved down here, he was one of the first kids I was introduced to. Hearing that he passed away brought me to my knees,” Goodman told Boston Fox 25 News.
Goodman’s remembrance of the mass shooting he survived goes beyond Oliver and his college choice. Prior to a football combine, Goodman wrote the names of the Stoneman Douglas victims on his cleats.
I have a football combine tomorrow & I am dedicating every single time I step on any field to my Eagles that lost their lives. I am proud to say I am an Eagle & always will be #douglasstrong #NEVERAGAIN pic.twitter.com/xmXPldviUv
— Tyler Goodman #DouglasStrong (@tgiii_) February 16, 2018
Goodman also said he plans to wear No. 17 at Nichols College to remember the teachers and classmates who were lost during the Feb. 14 tragedy.