COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Following is an email sent by Gamecock Tommy Beecher:
I am writing this email to let everyone know what God is doing in my life. To fully understand, I have to start about four years ago. My senior year of high school had been the most incredible experience of my life. I loved hanging out with my friends and spending time with my family. We won the state championship in football and I had a scholarship to play football at the University of South Carolina. Things were going so well in Concord, I didn't want to leave. It would be tough leaving Matt, Katie, and BJ and even tougher leaving the security my parents offered. I dreaded the day that I would have to leave them to come to school. I came down to South Carolina in the summer of 2005. The harsh reality of 5:00am runs and two and a half hours classes began and immediately I was homesick and longed to go home. The days dragged on, the summer turned to fall, and I found myself running the scout team. This was a job of few rewards. None of the coaches noticed me and I quickly lost my confidence. All Quarterbacks will tell you that confidence is one of, if not the most important components to the success of a quarterback. Doubts started to enter my mind: Was I good enough to be here? Why would God have put me in a place where I was miserable? I was on the verge of depression and the only thing that got me through that first semester was the anticipation of transferring. I did research everyday and looked for places I would feel comfortable. I talked to friends about transferring and decided myself that South Carolina was the last place I was going to be.
God had other plans. God started speaking through my mom. I talked to her everyday on the phone during those last few weeks of the fall semester. It must have been hard telling me God had a plan for me down here while seeing how miserable her son was. As the decision whether to transfer or not approached, I spent more and more time in prayer and visited several different churches. Ironically, four services in a row, all with different churches, the preacher spoke on following God's plan. I could feel God speaking to me, but I ignored him. My comfort and my joy were put in front of God and I told him that there was time later in my life when I would be faithful. Finally, on the way back to Concord from William and Mary, a trip my parents had scheduled for Matt, I was broken and told my parents that God was telling me to go back to South Carolina. He told me vividly, a feeling I still get chills about today, that he had a plan for me, if only I'd remain faithful. As I told them, my eyes swelled with tears. This was the last thing I wanted to do. Something happened during that moment. A weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I knew I was doing the right thing. My relationship with Christ suddenly became alive and I gave him control.
Entering the spring of my freshman year, I knew I was at South Carolina for a reason. I knew God had a plan for me and I was anxious to see what it was. And so I waited, and waited, and waited. It wasn't until last fall that I played in a significant football game. The excitement was short lived and I moved back on the depth chart. I was able to hold every game but no one knows who the holder is; they still don't thankfully. It was another rewardless job. But just when I thought God had kept me at USC to be the holder, spring ball was over and I found myself seated in front of Coach Spurrier. I left his office as the starting quarterback of South Carolina. God is amazing, his plan is perfect, and I should do less thinking. He was in control all along.
Is this the beginning of Tommy Beecher's reign as the South Carolina quarterback? I don't know, I don't care. One thing I do know, I will be prepared every game, I will be driven, and I will do my very best. This is all I can do, but with God, there is no limit to what I am capable of. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I have an incredibly loving family, and inspiring pastor, and wonderful friends that surround me with prayer. I feel safe, I feel protected, and I feel inspired. I don't know what is going to happen this year. I could start every game and have a great year. I could have a terrible first game and never play again. Only God knows. My prayer is that I will be an example to those who watch. My prayer is that my teammates, friends, and fans will see that this is something different in me. That through my actions, people will notice my relationship with Christ. God has put me on a pedestal, in the spotlight. What an opportunity to show the world the Power of God. In all that comes out of this year, the good and the bad, to Him be the glory.
That is my testimony, a message many already know. The reason I have told you is that I hope you will pray for me. Throughout my college career, the power of prayer has become evident. Sometimes I worry I will disappoint, sometimes I worry I will fail. I hope all of you will pray for me in these two regards. Pray that my nerves don't get that best of me and I will use them to become even more driven. I don't know what God has in store for me, but pray that I will be in the center of His Will. If God is with me, who can be against me? I have sent this email to prayer warriors, individuals I know have followed me and will continue to do so, people who are close to my heart. I love all of you and look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon.