Since 2016, the ACC in conjunction with the College Football Playoff Foundation has funded more than 1,100 classroom projects through the “Extra Yard for Teachers” program, impacting over 116,000 students at nearly 450 schools.
During Saturday’s edition of “The Huddle” show on ACC Network, host Jordan Cornette and analysts Eric Mac Lain, E.J. Manuel and Mark Richt were each given the opportunity to present a $1,000 check to one of the teachers that made an impact on their life.
Mac Lain surprised former Clemson offensive lineman and current Powdersville High School teacher Ryan Norton with a check in a pre-recorded video that Norton thought at first was just a normal interview through Zoom.
Norton and Mac Lain are close friends and were teammates at Clemson from 2011-15.
“I know how hard you work and that you have your own children to worry about on top of a bunch of other people’s children, so actually this entire thing that we’re doing right now, it was a lie – I had to get you on Zoom somehow,” Mac Lain said in the video. “The real reason I wanted you to jump on this call is to let you know that you’re going to be receiving a $1,000 gift card based on the College Football (Playoff) Foundation ‘Extra Yard for Teachers’ program.
“I couldn’t think of anybody else that deserved it more, man, and just wanted to capture this moment together because I know we can’t physically be together.”
Norton, the Tigers’ starting center in 2013 and 2014, is now a special services and football/track coach at Powdersville High in Greenville.
“Wow, that’s unbelievable,” Norton said after being surprised with the check. “That’ll go a long way in my classroom in particular. I’ll definitely use that in my classroom, being able to provide some things for my students that I probably wouldn’t be able to. So, that means a ton. That’s awesome.”
Norton went on to explain how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected him as a teacher, but he isn’t feeling sorry for himself.
“It’s very interesting,” he said. “It’s very difficult from a teacher perspective dealing with the restrictions that are happening right now. However, I feel like my job, it’s somewhat easy compared to how the parents are right now, what they’re dealing with. Some of them are dealing with kids at home while they’re working and they’re trying to teach them virtually. I think my school district has done an unbelievable job so far of handling it, and we’re trying to get as much face to face as we possibly can.”
Clemson masks are now available and the latest Nike shoe is also available.
Please stay safe and get your officially licensed Clemson gear right here!