A Parent's Life - Part II

by - Senior Writer -

SENECA – In part one of the series with the parents of Clemson quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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, we detailed how the family handled the pressure of Tajh’s recruitment and ultimately his signing of Clemson.

Tim and Carla Boyd, Tajh’s parents, felt a certain level of relief once the recruiting process was over, but there were still many more decisions to come.

First and foremost – would the family leave their home in Virginia and move to South Carolina? The answer was yes, a decision made easier by the fact that Tim Boyd had a military background.

“The warmer weather and southern hospitality were big for us,” Carla said. “Being a military family, we were used to changes of environments. The kids [Tajh and T.J.] were very diverse growing up. We had relocated a couple of times. We knew that we would be close to Georgia, and I have family in Georgia and Florida, and we thought that maybe with them being so close they could come see him play.

“T.J. was open to transferring, playing down here and maybe getting a scholarship offer. Virginia was a good place, but we sat down and we talked. We had lived in Atlanta, Florida and New Jersey before. And we just made a decision based on faith, because there were a lot of unknowns.”

The Boyd’s moved to Seneca and found jobs in the area, but still had to face the adversity that comes with being the parent of not only a high-profile recruit, but also of being the parents of a son that plays the most polarizing position on the field – quarterback.

Included in that adversity was the fact that once the move was made, there were people in their neighborhood telling them that Tajh had made the wrong decision and that Clemson would never play a black quarterback.

“I never believed that,” Carla says. “It’s 2012 now, and that was 2009. I know there had been other black quarterbacks at Clemson. A lot of really negative people tried to tell Mr. Boyd a lot of negative stuff from the past. We just told them, ‘What is in the past is in the past, and what God has for you He will do for you. And Tajh has helped to prove a lot of people wrong with their negativity.

“These were just regular neighborhood people, people that had been living there a long time. They called themselves Clemson fans, but these are people who don’t support the university and have never given Clemson a dime. They are not credible people.”

Tim Boyd, however, still had to hear all of the negative comments while on his job, a process that Carla tried to distance herself from.

“I didn’t even want to hear it,” she said. “It was too negative. I just don’t deal with stuff like that. We can't predict what is going to happen, but there were people telling Mr. Boyd all kinds of stuff. People telling him that they had been in South Carolina all their lives and they knew what was going to happen. I don’t talk about football on my job, but I know men like to talk about football. I have never had an open spirit to something negative. They don’t say anything to me. It is tough on Mr. Boyd because he is a man.”

Tajh arrived on the Clemson campus still recovering from a knee injury suffered his senior year of high school, so he was redshirted his first season. His second season, he was second on the depth chart to incumbent Kyle ParkerKyle Parker
#11 6-1, 200
Jacksonville, FL

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, but Carla says the family never worried that Tajh wouldn’t get his shot or that he would let the frustrations get to him.

“No, because of the way that Mr. Boyd trained him up, and he instilled that hard work ethic in him,” she said. “Tajh knew he needed to work hard. He has had an impact in every program he has been in, and he got a little frustrated to begin with because he came here to compete. He redshirted that first year, but we told him to hang in there, that it was all in God’s timing. We kept the faith and encouragement. He was a star in high school and he wanted to make that immediate impact. But he knew he needed to be more focused, and knew he had a job to do.”

Carla says she would sit in the stands during games and hear the insults hurled at Parker, and she would cringe at the thought of how his parents must have felt. After all, these are just college kids, and every player is someone’s son, grandson, nephew or brother, not just a number in the game program.

“Before Tajh ever stepped on the field, we were trying to learn the fans and trying to figure out how to deal with it,” she said. “We heard all the negative stuff about Parker, just sitting near his parents. As parents, we try to protect each other in the stands. We might get some strays that might say negative stuff, but Carl [Parker, Kyle’s father] had those big old headphones on that he would listen to the game on. That way, he didn’t have to listen to it. People were so mean, and I thought, ‘I don’t know how he can deal with it. Is this what we are going to have to go through?’ I really didn’t know what to expect.”

The family kept up their support system for Tajh and he continued to work hard both on and off the field. Carla says she never doubted that her son would be successful on the field, and that feeling grew even more once new offensive coordinator Chad Morris was hired.

“I never had a doubt he would make a splash once he got the playbook down,” she said. “And then Coach Morris came, and he is just a tremendous guy. He was kind of like a savior for Tajh, a true quarterback guru. I love him. I love Coach Swinney and all of the coaches and their families, but a big difference came with Coach Morris. He took a lot of time out for Tajh, and he always believed in Tajh. Tajh’s high school coach had said that if someone just believes in him, he will come through for the program.”

Tajh rewarded his family with a stellar year in 2011, his first year as a starter, something that brought the family more than a tiny bit of joy and relief.

“It was a beautiful thing,” Carla said. “There is a lot of joy now, and we loved just watching him get out there and compete. There were even a few times I had tears of joy. But I also knew that with one loss, people will turn on you, so I never bragged or boasted. I am usually outgoing, so that tells you a lot. But they were happy times I am telling you.”

There were even a few moments that made her laugh in the re-telling, especially when her aunt from New Jersey made the trip to College Park, Maryland, to watch Tajh play against the Maryland Terrapins. The week before, Tajh had hurt his hip in a game against Boston College, and as the family sat in the stands, the hip immediately became a hot topic.

“She had on her Tajh Boyd shirt, and she was ready to cheer,” Carla said. “My aunt is from New Jersey, and we were telling her, ‘Please don’t come and show out.’ She is not used to the college environment, and even Coach Swinney had told her that she had to have a thick skin.

“But there was this Maryland fan that was sitting near us, and he just kept yelling, ‘Hit him in his hip! Hit him in his hip!’ And my aunt was furious. She was going to go after that man. She got very offended, and she was very upset. I talked to her, and I said, ‘You have to let this go. This is college, and people are going to talk junk.’ But she was ready to go get him.”

Carla says that she has now learned to accept the criticisms and the boo birds, as well as enjoy the cheers and plaudits. But she is determined to treat both the exact same way.

“People are fans, but we are the parents of student-athlete,” she said. “That is why I keep a certain approach. I don’t get too involved in the successes or failures of a college program. Somebody may say the wrong thing, and because we are parents, we do get offended over our children. But we have to overlook that.”

She did get concerned last year, however, following Clemson’s loss to Georgia Tech. Someone egged Tajh’s house, and Carla says she went into full mother mode.

“When Tajh’s house got egged, I called him and told him, ‘We will move you out of there today.’ I was not playing. I was serious,” she said. “I felt like, if he is going to become a target, then we are going ot get him out of there. If he had to come home, he could. His room was ready. Just so he could get some peace and quiet. That bothered me. It really did. I know the pressure was on him, because I can feel the vibes of my kids. I am a mom, and I know when they are in trouble. I prayed a lot. But he took it from there and got through it fine, even with all the ups and downs. He came out being successful.”

One thing she says she can't get used to, however, is the fact that sometimes people can get a little too intrusive on a family’s private time.

“There are these people who are anxious to meet us,” she said. “We have strangers clip out articles and mail them to us. We have had people come to the door and want us to meet their family. We have people come into the neighborhood and start asking around about where we live. We have random people that just drive by the house, slowly. They are out sightseeing. One of our relatives wanted to know why all these people were coming down our street and doing a U-turn.

“I used to go to the Wal-Mart in Central, and I would wear these shades. I was in another mode – I don’t want to talk about football all day, every day. I had people that I didn’t know that would stop me and ask me about the team, ask me about Tajh, ask me when they were going to put him in or play him. There were times I just didn’t even want to go to the grocery store. I felt a lot of love from the community, but sometimes it can be overwhelming.”

Part One of A Parent's Life

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Subject (Replies: 41) Author
Front Page Story: A Parent's Life - Part II
Re: Front Page Story: A Parent's Life - Part II
Re: Front Page Story: A Parent's Life - Part II
Wow, could there be more idiotic statements in that article?
Re: Wow, could there be more idiotic statements in that article?
Re: Wow, could there be more idiotic statements in that article?
Re: Wow, could there be more idiotic statements in that article?
you going to elaborate or just make moronic posts?***
Re: you going to elaborate or just make moronic posts?***
Re: you going to elaborate or just make moronic posts?***
So when did she say she believed it? FAIL
Re: you going to elaborate or just make moronic posts?***
Re: you going to elaborate or just make moronic posts?***
you are just am ###***
blythewood tiger
Re: Wow, could there be more idiotic statements in that article?
This guy is one of "those people" in the stands.***
the folks in my neighborhood
Re: the folks in my neighborhood
Hold it. If your point is only
Re: Hold it. If your point is only
On top of that a military family.***
Is the Report Stupid button beside the Report Abuse button?
Don't look in the mirror.
You must drive yourself bat crap crazy***
Re: Wow, could there be more idiotic statements in that article?
That's pathetic to go after some kid's parents in the stands
I love my home state and I love my school, but
Re: I love my home state and I love my school, but
Re: I love my home state and I love my school, but
A very good read
blythewood tiger
Wonder why those "fans" said we wouldn't play a black QB
Re: Wonder why those "fans" said we wouldn't play a black QB
Re: Wonder why those "fans" said we wouldn't play a black QB
Re: Wonder why those "fans" said we wouldn't play a black QB
Boyd, Danzler, Greene, Moncreif, Jordan, Sapp, McCleon, Solo
Re: Boyd, Danzler, Greene, Moncreif, Jordan, Sapp, McCleon, Solo
Richard Moncrief
Re: Richard Moncrief
Tajh is a great athlete and a good person.
It is a shame, but, it comes with the territory. Playing
Question: was Homer J one of the first black QB's to win NC

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