Liberty University is mourning the loss of Liberty Flames Offensive Lineman Tajh Boyd, who passed away at the age of 19.
University Vice President and Director of Athletics Ian McCaw announced Boyd’s death in a statement on Sunday.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes, Tajh Boyd. Tajh joined our Liberty Football family as recently as January and his impact on the program will be felt for years to come,” McCaw said.
“When you come to the Mountain, you immediately become a part of the Liberty University family and something truly special. We thank God for bringing Tajh into our Liberty Athletics community and we will always remember him as a Flame. Tajh will be missed dearly,” the statement continued.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Tajh’s family, his teammates and friends, our football coaching staff, as well as our entire athletics department and the greater Liberty University community. We grieve together as a family and will seek guidance, comfort, and understanding from the Lord during these difficult times,” the statement concluded.
McCaw’s statement was also shared by the university’s athletic department on social media.
The cause of Boyd’s death has not been released.
Boyd played high school football at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Standing 6 feet 4 inches and weighing 315 pounds, he was rated the No. 7 recruit in Hampton Roads in the Class of 2023 and was a member of back-to-back state championship teams during his sophomore and junior seasons, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
“Tajh’s impact went far beyond statistics and accolades,” Chris Scott, Boyd’s high school coach, told the outlet. “Yes, he was a formidable force on the football field, but it was his infectious smile, his positive energy, and his ability to uplift others that truly made him larger than life.”
Boyd chose to play for Liberty as a three-star prospect in 2022 after receiving a dozen offers to play for other programs, including Duke, Maryland, and Virginia Tech.
According to his Liberty bio, he had wanted to major in Interdisciplinary Studies with the goal of becoming a computer science engineer.
Boyd also wrote about his faith. When answering the question, “Is there anything special you do pregame or postgame and why?” he wrote, “I pray before every game. I do that because anything could go wrong and if you ask God to cover you in Jesus’ blood everything will go your way or the best way that God has in store for you.”
He also wrote about his love for his mom saying she inspired him. “My mother, she raised me by herself with no help and she the strongest person I know. She never gave up,” he said.
Fellow Liberty offensive linesman X’zauvea Gadlin tweeted, “It’s gone be a while before this feels real. But imma see you again. Rest easy Lil Brother.