A University of South Carolina graduation tradition is taking social media by storm this week as students wrap up their college tenures. This awesome custom involves the annual reveal of the Gamecocks’ mascot.
Fanbases get to see their school mascots cheering on their squads at every event. In Columbia, it’s “Cocky” who embodies the spirit of the South Carolina faithful as they root for their squads on the gridiron or the hardwood.
But while they see the mascot on a weekly basis, no one actually knows the student under the costume.
And in Cocky’s case, there are big shoes to fill.
The fighting rooster is annually named as one of the nation’s top sideline supporters, even when the athletic teams fail to put the best product on the field.
In maybe his biggest on-field appearance, the mascot pops out of a box at midfield to the theme song of 2001: A Space Odyssey blaring across the speakers and 85,000 fans welcoming the team out of the tunnel.
On graduation day, that same tune of “Also sprach Zarathustra” is heard inside the arena walls as the school finally reveals Cocky’s true identity.
If you look around the gym floor, you’ll see a pair of large yellow feet sitting in the crowd before the Cocky gives one final performance.
At this year’s ceremony, biomedical engineering student Sarah Sylvester got to fill fellow students in on her alter ego before walking across the stage to accept her degree.
A clip of the mascot reveal is now going viral on social media.
Meet Sarah Sylvester.
She is a biomedical engineering student at the University of South Carolina and served as the school’s mascot, “Cocky,” for two years.
So, as is the tradition at USC, she revealed herself at graduation by walking across the stage in Cocky feet.
So good 👏 pic.twitter.com/S0lyNCifmD
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) May 9, 2023
Members of the media have been quick to comment on the video as they post their replies online.
Big Ten Network broadcaster Shane Sparks had high praise.
This is great!
— Shane Sparks (@ShaneSparksBTN) May 9, 2023
Sports personality Rex Chapman enjoyed it, too.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) May 9, 2023
Others around the college sports world retweeted the clip.
This is so awesome. https://t.co/UkSzW6c3Z5
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) May 9, 2023
Pate State material https://t.co/XaEjAGM6BA
— Josh Pate (@LateKickJosh) May 9, 2023
There were a few more comical replies in the comments section.
This feels like Masked Singer on a whole other level
— 4Thangs Virtual Adventures 🤷♂️🤷♂️🤷♂️🤷♂️ (@4ThangsVR) May 9, 2023
There’s a reason why you’ve never seen Sarah and Cocky in the same room…
“How come you never want to go to the game with us, Sarah?” – Her friends, probably
— GamblingSiteFinder.com (@gmblngsitefindr) May 9, 2023
What’s most impressive is the fact that she was able to run across the floor in those massive yellow shoes without tripping.
That’s how you do it! I would fall so many times
— john n (@undr312) May 9, 2023
Well done, and congratulations!