As the October sun faded over Bright House Networks Stadium, Beatrice Plummer took her seat in the section dubbed for families. The pregame butterflies that affect even the most confident players affect her as well. But after kickoff, and the first hit, they subside.
More than four hours later, her son, senior linebacker Terrance Plummer, had just completed the best game of his career. The intensity in Terrance’s eyes was evident throughout the night. On his first play of the game, Terrance met a hulking BYU running back at the line of scrimmage, dropped him to the turf and jumped up to celebrate with the crowd of more than 41,000.
In the stadium’s concourse, after the game, he collapsed into his mother’s arms for a hug.
“I’m very close to my family,” Terrance said. “That’s why I try to go as hard as I can and do all that I can to make them proud, because they sacrificed so much for me coming up.”
Beatrice is a single parent, and strives to be a sideline cheerleader for Terrance in his play under the lights and his walk through life. After each game she attends, Terrance looks up to her in the crowd and “shoots her love,” as he puts it.
It’s something that has stuck since his days at Orange Park High School in Jacksonville.
“I’m kind of like that cheerleader that tries to keep him motivated,” Beatrice said. “Sometimes, if I can, I can come down on the weekends on a bye week, and we just spend time together. We just kind of sit around and enjoy each other.”
Growing up, she never pushed Terrance toward football, but she encouraged him to find success in something. He found football in junior high school, and as a chubby kid at the time his coaches tested him as a lineman. Soon after they noticed his quickness, they moved him to linebacker.
“She just wanted me to be successful in anything,” Terrance said. “If I played an instrument, she wanted me to be the best at that. If I did drama, she would want [me] to be practicing whatever I had to do. My gift was sports, and she told me that if I was going to do sports that I need to put my all into it.”
So he did.
He strives to be the backbone of the defense and the leader his teammates can always count on.
“Seeing his growth as a person into somebody who is a standout player on the field, and you can also see his character off the field,” senior linebacker Troy Gray said. “It translates into how he works in the film room, in practice and in the way he communicates.”
Much like his teammates count on him, Terrance could always rely on Beatrice, who ensured Terrance always had a ride to practice and food on the table.
“Of course she provided for me. As a kid, I didn’t have much, but you would never know it because I had so much love and so much care and that’s all I needed,” Terrance said. “We didn’t have the best situation, but we came out of it.”
The sacrifice continues for Beatrice as she travels to many away games and never misses a home game.
“I do it because of the love of my child. It means a lot for me to support him and seeing him get through school and getting his degree and finishing strong on the field,” she said. “It’s been a struggle, but you do what you have to do and you live to see another day.”