The recent death of Tajh Boyd, a 19-year-old incoming freshman at Liberty University, was not related to football activities, coach Jamey Chadwell said at a news conference Friday.
Chadwell, entering his first season as the Flames' head coach, did not give additional details about the circumstances of Boyd's death, which he said the football program learned about on Aug. 5.
"It's been a challenging time not only for our staff, our players, just our whole community trying to comprehend all the different things that have been going on and then still, from a pure football perspective, try to get the team ready for a season that's upcoming," Chadwell said.
Lynchburg, Va., police have told outlets through a spokesperson that the department looked into the player's death and deemed a criminal investigation unnecessary.
Boyd was listed on Liberty's athletics website as a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman from Chesapeake, Va., where he graduated from Oscar F. Smith High School. He signed his letter of intent to play at Liberty in December and officially joined the program in January.
"He made a huge impact on the team," Chadwell said. "He was very quiet as far as an outwardly quietness, but when he was one-on-one with his teammates, he lit up the room. He had a very giving heart and if there was something that anybody was going through on the team, he was always there."
Chadwell, 46, accepted the Liberty position after four seasons in the same role at Coastal Carolina. The Flames needed Chadwell to replace Hugh Freeze, who left for the Auburn job.
"There's no playbook, no map to figure out how to deal with circumstances like this ... you don't have a lot of time to grieve," Chadwell said.
—Field Level Media