Marjory Stoneman Douglas quarterback Tyler Goodman was in his coach’s office with three teammates and a pair of recruits from Nichols College on Feb. 14 when a former student entered the school’s freshman building and killed 17 people, including assistant football coach Aaron Feis and athletic director Chris Hixon.
At the time, Goodman wasn’t heavily considering attending Nichols, a Division III college in Massachusetts, but he formed a connection with assistant coach St. Clair Ryan and dean of admissions Paul Brower during that scary time.
“They kind of went into father mode,” Goodman told Boston’s WFXT-TV
That’s why nine days after the shooting, Goodman committed to play football at Nichols College.
“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.”
Goodman said he plans to wear No. 17 to honor those who lost their lives in the shooting.
“I’ve lost friends & I’ve lost family,” Goodman wrote in a message attached to his commitment tweet. “But losing them gave me the drive to keep fighting cause they’ve fought hard enough for me. ... This one’s for all 17 people I lost from my home.”