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Cocky transitioning to Tramont

April Fools' to yellow shoes 🐔

Unique experiences make graduating Cocky's time as mascot worth it

When Tramont Miles first read the email, he thought someone was pulling an April Fools’ prank on him.

It was April 1, 2022, and the email was telling him he was selected for one of the most undercover jobs at South Carolina.

Miles was going to be USC’s beloved mascot: Cocky. By tradition, those who perform as Cocky remain anonymous until graduation. It's a tradition that Miles and others before him take seriously. 

From football games to Nissan commercials, Miles has traveled around the world as Cocky. Most recently, he was in Cleveland when the women’s basketball team won its third national championship.  

“I was at open practice the day before [the championship game] on the court with all of them,” Miles says. “Me, Dawn and the other assistant coaches were just dancing with each other and having fun during practice. That was a big core memory for me.” 

Dancing with Dawn Staley was one of the many connections Miles made during his reign as Cocky, a job he held for two years.

Cocky rising out of the Cockaboose at a football game

“Even as a student, nobody knew who I was, but I was still able to make connections with little kids, with vice presidents who were at events, with President Amiridis,” Miles says. “Going into the real world, I know I can make connections in little ways.”

Miles was the first to start a new football tradition: Cocky rising out of a new gameday Cockaboose on the field at Williams-Brice Stadium. 

“I'm the only one that's ever came out of it so far. The first time I rose out, I didn't do anything, I froze for a second,” says Miles. “I was like ‘Wait, I need to move. Everybody’s looking at me.’ Then I start dancing and jumping and it was wild.” 

But not every memory is accompanied by fireworks and elevating platforms.

Cocky, Tra and the Cocky statue pose for a graduation picture

One of Miles’ favorite Cocky jobs is attending baseball games and getting to interact personally with fans on the concourse and in the stands. 

“I think this is going to be a big shock because I don't think I come off as a person who could be Cocky. I'm like a shy guy, but as soon as I put the suit on, I'm a whole different person,” says Miles. “I think it'll be a big shock to everybody — especially everyone back home who are huge Gamecock fans. My mom has been waiting to share this for so long.” 

A first-generation student and criminal justice and psychology double major from Bennettsville, South Carolina, Miles' involvement at USC went behind the yellow beak. He served as a university ambassador, a presidential ambassador, a U101 peer leader, a Gamecock Club intern and was a member of the Chi Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa.  

After Miles crosses the graduation stage donning the iconic yellow Cocky feet one last time, he is headed to Tennessee to work as the visitor services counselor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville Visitor Center.  

“From welcoming prospective students through tours at the Visitor Center, to teaching my U101 students how to sandstorm before their first Carolina game, to getting the crowd excited as I appear above the Cockaboose, these interactions will always serve as a full circle moment that I am grateful for.”