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For new dads, it's not easy leaving home


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – David Mayo's life changed forever a week ago Friday. He's no longer just a linebacker. 

"What up proud pop?" running back Fozzy Whittaker asked moments after Mayo arrived at Wofford on Wednesday. 

David and Jordan Mayo welcomed their first child, Elijah James, on July 20 – eight days past his due date, but also, right on time. 

"I'm just glad that I had him before camp started. I can't imagine going through that process in the middle of camp," Mayo said. "It was the craziest experience I've ever been through, but I'm happy he's home and healthy. We're all situated. Jordan's doing great, so now it's football."

But it can't be easy to leave home for days at a time so soon after becoming a new dad. 

"It was really tough," said cornerback Donte Jackson, whose daughter Demi Dalia was born, appropriately enough, on Father's Day. "Seeing her as I'm going into the airport - she doesn't have an idea that she's not going to see her dad for at least a month. But I knew, and it hurt. It hurt bad."

So for the next 17 days, Jackson will have to settle for FaceTime chats with his girlfriend, Daveniesha, and their daughter, who are back in New Orleans. Because right now, dad has work to do. 

"I didn't come out here for no other thing," Jackson said when asked if he expects to win the starting job opposite James Bradberry. "That's what it's going to be. I'm going to compete until Week 1 and I'm going to keep going until I get that job."

And as hard as it must be to be away, there is one advantage of not being at home. 

"I'm ready to get back after it and focus on football," Mayo said. "And get some sleep."