Name: Tajh Khiry Boyd. I was named after an 80s R&B group called, 'The Boys' who were a one hit wonder. One member was named Tajh, other Khiry, Bilal and Hakeem.
How long have you been in Greenville? Four years
Most interesting fact about you: I am both an introvert and extrovert. Outwardly, it is a 'golden retriever' kind of style where I approach a lot of people. Internally though, there are so many things that I deal with and battle with. A lot of this came from the football positions when I played at quarterback. I could not be in the shell all of the time and try to lead a group of guys. I have to decompress a lot.
Your background: I'm a middle child. I have an older brother and younger sister, small family. Dad was in the Navy and I grew up in Virginia but I was born in a little town called Albany, Georgia.
I went to a bunch of different elementary schools, middle schools and two high schools. I'd say that helped my personality as I was either going to be introverted or take the chance, be extroverted, and get to know people. I hated moving because you think to yourself that you are not going to have your friends anymore but at the same time it developed a skill set that I probably wouldn't have.
I didn't have a bunch of friends in high school. I only went to one party in high school. I took the hours and energy that you would have socializing and put that into hours upon hours of football. As such, I spent a lot of time training. My parents believed in me way more than I believed in myself at that time. Eventually I found the belief in myself.
My Dad had a thing for football. Some people say that your parents living their dreams through you is a bad thing which I don't think is the case. My Dad was always telling me about the risks vs. rewards of football. I didn't grow up loving football as it was something that I had to grow into. I'm going to speak to some little league football players later this week and I'm going to ask them, 'do you like football?' I am not going to ask them, 'do you love football?' as they don't know if they love it yet. If you like football, then you will learn to love it.
I was never the best player on any team that I played on. Only thing that kept me alive was my consistency. The older I got, the more work that I continued to put in, the better I got. I was never faster, stronger, or any of that as everything was always a work in progress. The only thing I guess you can say that separated me was the fact that I was willing to do what it took at that moment.
I was the number four quarterback coming out of high school football and had over 60 offers. The majority of the ACC schools offered me but I didn't have an offer from Clemson at that particular time during high school. Long story short, I was down to three schools: Ohio State, Oregon and then there was some coach named, 'Dabo Swinney' at Clemson. The only reason that Coach Swinney got in the door was because Danny Pearman, the tight end coach, knew my high school coach and told me how Danny was a solid character. My decision was made already in my mind about where I was going to play. However, I had one more recruiting visit left and decided to listen to what Coach Pearman had to say. I had already made plans to visit Michigan for my last visit but I knew that I was going to commit to Ohio State. It was locked in stone. I told Coach Tressel that I was coming andTerrelle Pyror. I was going to be a Buckeye. I even wore #10 in high school because of Troy Smith.
Coach Swinney comes along. I could see myself in him and that is why so many recruits relate to him. He is the common man that has done a lot of uncommon things. It is based around his belief system. He believes in himself which becomes contagious after a while. He sat down, he was honest. He said that he didn't know how long he was going to be at Clemson, I can't tell you what I have done because I haven't, but I'll tell you who I am as a person and let you see me from that light. The man could have made as many excuses as he wanted. He could have said that he was a failure in life but he didn't. He took every adverse situation that he was in, found a way to get through it and found results instead of excuses. I knew that if he could do that and still be standing then I was going to a school and grow as a man but also play football. Any coach might be able to make you a better player but I had a coach that allowed me to grow as a man. It ended up being him. Coach Swinney and I still talk, at least once a week, that won't change. He is just a man of morales. He is not changing for anybody which is the most important thing.
I have a word tattooed on me, 'legacy.' I always want to leave something better than I found it. Proverbs: 22:1 says, 'A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.' This is something that I try to live by. I am starting to learn this with age. It got to the point where everything was so people pleasing that I couldn't do everything. But instead of saying no I'd say I'll try to or maybe I can. That would leave a false sense of who I was and I didn't want to lie to people. I just wanted to make people happy. Now, I tell myself and others if I truly can or cannot with whatever is needed.
Everybody has this idea of who they are and a vision. But you don't know how that is going to play out. If it were up to me then I would be playing football until 50. But it wasn't up to me and that was not the case. You are going to take some loses in life, some obstacles. But the difference is the willingness to fight. Fighting is what it will take in this long, but short, life. Take advantage of every moment, regardless of how that looks and surround yourself with good people. Most of us go through something and we don't think someone has gone through whatever it is. However, someone can relate with what you are going through. The more you have conversations with people, the more that you realize how you're alike than different.
Currently reading or watching: I just finished a book called, 'The Last Lecture' by Randy Pausch. It is an unbelievable book.
I love movies. I wanted to be a movie critic growing up and would read Eber & Roeper. I envisioned having something called, 'Tajh's Tens' where I would rate movies from 1-10 but it never worked out [laughs].
Movies can be my escape. I was going to about a movie a week because I could sit there for two or three hours, look at the screen and not think about anything. I'll eat my popcorn, heavy butter always, get a Coke and call it a day.
Hobby: We just got a house so I'm learning how to cut the grass and keep it alive. Football to me is easier than cutting grass. With grass you've got to learn what length to keep it, keeping the mower in the lines. It can be challenging [laughs]. And don't get me started on the charcoal grill. I was a propane guy my whole life but now I'm trying to keep a fire started with charcoal.
Tagline/Motto: Be a good person.
Who do you work for? Lakeside Lodge in Clemson. It is a unique project as you can own it [condo] outright and allow it to be a stream of revenue when you are not there. It runs like a hotel and this is a community. There are people there that have a common love, Clemson. They are surrounded by other people that love Clemson. I am learning so much about sales and people.
I also have my non profit as well, The Tajh Boyd Foundation. It started about four years ago as I wanted to do something for the community and give back.
We started off with a bookbag drive as those are simple but they have a greater meaning. Kids have luxury with these book bags and the school supplies in them.
I'm putting together another program called, 'The Huddle Initiative' that takes kids from communities and surrounds them with mentors in different occupations. I grew up wanting to be a NFL player and most of these kids want to do the same thing. I didn't realize until years later that your definition of success doesn't necessarily have to be tied towards that. There are so many other occupations that these kids can be great at.
What is your day-to-day on the job? I identify sales prospects, make calls and try to bring positive energy into everything.
How do you think Greenville would describe you in one word? Friendship.
How would you describe Greenville in one word? Unique. It has big time attributes with a small town feel.
Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville morning hangout? Coffee Underground.
Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville evening hangout? Halls