Former Jacksonville Jaguar and Gators running back Fred Taylor is another step closer to having his legacy cemented in Canton, Ohio. Taylor was named an NFL Hall of Fame semifinalist for the fifth year in a row. He is now one of 25 modern-age players with a chance at being admitted.
Fred Taylor is already part of the University of Florida's Athletic Hall of Fame and the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame.
Taylor is now a Semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2024. pic.twitter.com/avfB6QaaHp
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) November 28, 2023
Taylor’s Gator Career
Taylor quickly established himself as a difference maker during his time playing for Florida. In his freshman season, Taylor racked up 873 rushing yards to go along with eight touchdowns. He averaged over five yards per attempt that season and played in all 12 games.
Taylor’s next two season would be plagued with injury troubles. He played 15 games over the next two seasons, but was very productive when he was on the field. Despite these setbacks, Taylor broke out for a monster senior season in his final year with the Gators.
Taylor ran for 1,292 yards on the ground and accounted for over 1,500 scrimmage yards in total during his senior year. He also ran for 13 touchdowns and averaged an impressive six yards per carry. Taylor’s production had a huge impact on the Gators’ success in the late 1990s, and he won one national championship with the team in 1996. He would eventually leave for the NFL draft in 1998.
Taylor was drafted ninth overall in the 1998 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent 11 of his 13-year career with the Jaguars and his final two with the New England Patriots.
Taylor, similar to college, wasted no time in proving himself as a force at the pro level. He ran for 1,223 yards and 14 touchdowns during his rookie season, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. Taylor went on to rush for over 1,000 yards seven times during his career, with his best season coming in 2003. He accounted for 1,942 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns that season.
In case you haven’t seen any Fred Taylor highlights in a while. pic.twitter.com/RKrN1WEBIt
— Jaguars United (@Jaguars_United) March 31, 2019
The Jaguars legend was also selected to three All-Pro teams throughout his illustrious career. He won comeback Player of the Year in 2002 following a season in which he missed 14 games due to injury. Taylor finished his career with 11,695 rushing yards, good for 17th all-time, and 74 total touchdowns.
Next year will be Taylor’s fifth opportunity to enter the Hall of Fame.