By: Catherine Ramirez
Cocky, the University of South Carolina's mascot, is well known throughout the state. Three USC students share the role of Cocky but no one is told who they are. The one senior of the group is graduating in May and his name will only be revealed then to preserve the secrecy of the mascot. He says he loved representing USC as Cocky.
“The cool thing about it is your friends become strangers in a sense where people don’t necessarily know who you are. But then on the other side strangers become your friends," he said. "I mean Cocky is so recognizably known everyone has affection for him, unless they’re from the upstate, but I mean everyone loves Cocky.”
Cocky is considered a part of the USC spirit program. Each Cocky spends about fifteen hours in the suit per week throughout the year. But, the students who serve as Cocky enjoy every second.
“One of the most rewarding things about being Cocky is you’re invited into people’s homes, you’re invited into people’s hearts and you kind of become an honorary family member for certain families," the senior said.
Cocky also makes appearances that are not exclusively for the University. He recently attended the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" walk in downtown Columbia. Even though it wasn't the usual Cocky appearance, people loved having him there.
"I think it's really cool that Cocky is here, I think it's so cool that you had time to come out here and support such a great cause. It's really heartwarming and we love you for that," said Captain Hamp Taylor of the Lexington County Sheriff Department.
Another unique experience Cocky had was attending the birthday party of a dying five month old. He says that it was something he'll never forget.
"I got to interact with his family thru the suit, and out of the suit and become part of the family in the sense that every moment is not guaranteed," he said,
No matter what the occasion, his favorite part of being Cocky is really just entertaining others.
"Whether you're busting a move in Williams-Brice in front of 80,000 people, or even just in front of some sick kids at the children's hospital, the suit really enables you to make an impact on the lives of others."
And to this student, making an impact is the most important part.