There’s no coach, no field and no nickname, yet.
But there is a goal.
“We want to give these football players that extra step in order to get them where they want to go,” former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd said. “Whether it’s Clemson, whether it’s Southern Cal, whether it’s Furman.”
Boyd on Monday announced a partnership between himself, his Tajh Boyd Foundation and the 22ft Academy in Greenville to add a football team – the 100yards Academy – to the prep school’s fold.
Mike Rawson, CEO of the 22ft Academy, which began as an academic and basketball-only school three years ago, said he hopes to enroll 48 high school-age students between now and August to get the football program off the ground.
“Why 48? That’s the number we feel like can mentor and manage and get them educated and teach them and coach them and guide them through life,” Rawson said. “They need skills, and this gentleman (Boyd) knows how to do that.”
Boyd will serve as an ambassador for the program, blending his mentoring and coaching skills to produce players who aspire to be college-ready upon graduation. His foundation, which held a fundraising gala last Friday, will support some players via scholarship.
“I want to help guide them on the track they want to go,” Boyd said. “I feel like with this, we’ll be able to do that. This is about much more than football. We’re trying to develop good citizens.”
Boyd must report to training camp with the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes later this month, but will return to Greenville on a regular basis.
“I’ll be there whenever they need me,” he said.
Students will take online courses via the SC Whitmore School, a free public charter high school that allows students to work at their own pace in a one-on-one format with instructors.
Former Clemson player Greg Hood is serving as the team’s recruiting consultant.
A head coach will be hired “in about three weeks,” Rawson said, with a staff to follow.
Rawson is in discussions to finalize a land purchase for facilities and a stadium, and already has been offered a local practice facility.
The team will play between nine and 12 games in its initial season, which will kick off in August. The team will play one game in Las Vegas, but the majority of opponents will be regional prep, high school and junior college teams from North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.
Cost of the program will have a wide range, depending on each student-athlete’s situation.
“It can vary from $0 up to $18,500, depending on what the child requires,” Rawson said.
The team will conduct its first tryout on May 14 at the Upward Sports Complex in Spartanburg from 10 a.m. to noon, with a second scouting combine set for Cocoa Beach, Florida, May 28.
For more information, visit www.100YDS.com