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Clemson Football

Tyshon Dye lived life to the fullest: "serving, loving, and encouraging others"

July 10, 2019
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The Clemson family has been working tirelessly over the past few days.

Former Clemson running back Tyshon Dye passed away July, 6 after he accidentally drowned at a family picnic at Russell B. State Park. He was 25 years old. When the news of his death broke, two of Dye’s former teammates, J.K. Jay III, and Jonathan Meeks, took action.

To assist Dye’s family, Jay and Meeks started a Gofundme page to raise money for the funeral and other expenses. The initial goal for the fundraiser was $25,000.

In just three days, over 500 people had donated. As of Wednesday morning, $54,025 has been raised to shatter their goal.

We spoke at length with Jay on Clemson Sports Talk's two-hour radio show, and he told us, “It’s just incredibly tough to lose this incredible person. Tyshon was just the sweetest soul. There's no other way to describe it.”

According to the GoFundMe page, an anonymous donor gave $22,000. Carlos Watkins donated $500, Mike Williams and Charone Peak donated $100, and plenty of other members of the Clemson family donated triple figures.

“It wasn't large chunks, it was just everybody giving what they could and even the people that weren't able to give, but were able to share it on social media just or pray for it,” Jay noted. “We’re just really, really thankful to everybody that prayed and has given and has shared and has continued to do so. We're so thankful for Clemson family.”

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Tyshone Dye warms up before the Fiesta Bowl.

Dye played for Clemson as a running back from 2014 through 2016 and was a member of the national championship team before transferring to East Carolina in 2017. Dye finished his career with 76 carries for 351 yards and five touchdowns. He earned a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation & tourism management from Clemson in May 2017. 

“A lot of the stories that don't get told, and I'm thankful that people are telling Tyshon's story of who he was as a person. He was an incredible person and teammates-- an encourager. He had an impact on the whole Clemson football family,” Jay told us. 

“It's been cool hearing people's stories of their interaction with him with their kids and the time that he's taken with them. Those little interactions that might not be a big news story, but they are the story of our lives.  Each impact and interaction matters, and there is a face and a story behind every face mask and helmet.”

Those stories-- those faces, inside those helmets, have become a large part of Clemson’s success in recent years. Head coach Dabo Swinney began setting the foundation for a new kind of program, and a decade later Clemson is reaping the rewards. 

"All of our hearts are just broken. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Swinney said in a release from Clemson University. “I can honestly say Tyshon Dye is one of the sweetest souls I've ever been associated with or coached. We're just all heartbroken tonight, and we're praying for his family and know that he's been called home."

Jay went on to honor Dye with these words.

“We don't know how much time we have left no matter how great of health we have-- or don't have. Your legacy is what you will be remembered for, will be positive? Will it be that you had a positive impact serving and loving others? Encouraging others? Tyshon was a shining example of that. And if there was somebody you wanted to point to-- somebody that lived their life to the fullest, serving, loving, and encouraging others-- it'd be him.”

The funeral is set for Saturday, July 13 at the First Baptist of Elberton at 2:00 PM. You can still donate to the cause here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-and-other-expenses-for-tyshon-dye?member=2518678

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