Ree Drummond, todd drummond

Ree Drummond, todd drummond

Ree Drummond/Instagram

Ree Drummond‘s youngest son Todd is flying away from the nest.

The Pioneer Woman creator, 53, saw her son off at the University of South Dakota over the weekend, where he will continue his football career with the Coyotes.

In a post shared on her Instagram Story, Drummond posed for a selfie in a car, as Todd could be seen behind her in a red University of South Dakota shirt.

“Made it to SD yesterday,” she wrote with the snapshot. “GO YOTES! (and go Todd).”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Ree Drummond Sends Her Youngest Son Todd Off to College in South Dakota: 'Go Yotes!'. Credit: Ree Drummond/Instagram Ree Drummond Sends Her Youngest Son Todd Off to College in South Dakota: ‘Go Yotes!’. Credit: Ree Drummond/Instagram

Ree Drummond/Instagram

Drummond recalled on her blog how her son committed to the university just one day after a campus visit.

She said he immediately took a liking to the coaching staff and athletic facilities, and on the drive home he “couldn’t stop raving about the school and the football program.” Todd then had a signing ceremony on Dec. 21 while the family was on vacation in Vail.

Later in the day, she posted a few more snaps of their goodbye, along with the message, “Said bye to our baby today. We couldn’t love him more. I keep zooming in on his eyelashes in the first pic. Todd, I’ll miss your eyelashes so much! Go have an awesome experience and keep bein’ yourself, son. Go Yotes!”

RELATED: Ree Drummond’s 5 Kids: Everything to Know

Over the years, she has praised her son on social media for his hard work in the sport.

In 2021, she wrote an “appreciation post” to celebrate the end of his football season and shared a photo gallery of him playing on the field on her Instagram.

Ree Drummond Instagram

Ree Drummond Instagram

Ree Drummond Instagram

“His older brother was QB for three full years, so this was Todd’s first season in the starting spot,” Drummond wrote in the post. “He got in there and worked…and worked…and worked…and wound up throwing for 3,600+ yards and 50 touchdowns.”

“I’m not sharing that to brag, but instead to illustrate the heart this kid has for football, and the dedication he’s shown every single day (and especially Friday nights) this fall,” she added. “I couldn’t be prouder of my youngest kid.”

Though the Food Network star said she was excited for her son to embark on a new journey in college, she said it was also bittersweet.

“What I’m thinking about is how I’m going to cope with Todd no longer being in our house on a daily basis,” she wrote on her blog a the time. “(Oops…I’m crying as I write this. Stop that, Ree!) I love the kid so much, and man oh man, am I going to feel the absence!”

Drummond later teased just how much she would feel that absence in a short clip on Instagram of her husband Ladd Drummond jokingly poking her in the ribs in the days leading up to Todd’s first day of college on Jan. 1

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“We’re seven days away from an empty nest, is this what it’s gonna be like?,” she captioned the video on Instagram.

Drummond has been preparing for an empty nest for a little over a month. In early December she wrote on social media, “Ladd and I are actively trying to establish new activities together as the empty nest approaches. So we take evening walks now!”

Todd is the last of Drummond’s five children to leave for college. Her daughters Alex, 25, and Paige, 23, have already graduated and moved on to their careers, while her son Bryce, 20, and foster son Jamar, 20, are still attending and playing football.

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