Jonathan Taylor
Taylor with Wisconsin in 2018
No. 28 – Indianapolis Colts
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1999-01-19) January 19, 1999 (age 22)
Salem, New Jersey
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:226 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Salem (NJ)
College:Wisconsin
NFL Draft:2020 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2021
Rushing yards:2,291
Rushing average:5.4
Rushing touchdowns:24
Receptions:68
Receiving yards:621
Receiving touchdowns:3
Player stats at NFL.com

Jonathan Taylor (born January 19, 1999) is an American football running back for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Wisconsin, finishing his college career as the No. 6 all-time rusher in the NCAA and the first player in history to rush for more than 6,000 yards in any three-year span. Taylor finished in the top 10 of Heisman Trophy voting three times, finishing sixth as a freshman, ninth as a sophomore and fifth as a junior.[1] Following each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he was named a unanimous first-team All-American and recipient of the Doak Walker Award, the award for the top running back in college football.[2]

Early years

Taylor was born in Salem, New Jersey to Elizabeth Taylor and Jonathan James. His father played basketball for San Francisco State from 1982 to 1986.[1] Taylor attended Salem High School. During his high-school football career, he amassed 4,642 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns. As a senior, he set the New Jersey record with 2,815 rushing yards, which had been held by former Wisconsin Badgers running back Corey Clement.[3][4] In his senior year, he averaged 234.6 yards a game while scoring 37 touchdowns (35 rushing).[4] During his senior year, he was honored with the Jim Henry Award as the high-school area player of the year for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.[4] Taylor was also an accomplished performer in track and field, and he won two state titles in the 100-meter dash, with his best time as 10.49 seconds.[5]

Taylor was rated as a three-star prospect and the 24th-highest ranked running back in the class of 2017, according to the 247Sports Composite.[6] He originally committed to play college football at Rutgers University but changed his commitment to the University of Wisconsin–Madison on November 1, 2016.[7][8]

College career

Freshman season

When Taylor arrived at Wisconsin for fall camp, he was fourth or fifth on the running-back depth chart. Ahead of him were Bradrick Shaw, Chris James, Taiwan Deal and recent Pitt graduate-transfer Rachid Ibrahim. After Deal was injured, Taylor received more reps in practice. On his first snap from scrimmage against the first-team defense, he ran for a 70-yard touchdown, and later caught a touchdown pass. After fall camp, Taylor opened his freshman year at Wisconsin in 2017 as one of the team's starting running backs alongside Shaw and James.[9][10] In his first career game against Utah State, he rushed for 87 yards over nine carries and a touchdown.[11] In his second game, against Florida Atlantic, he rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns.[12] After Taylor ran for 249 yards against Nebraska in the fifth game of the season, he entered the Heisman Trophy conversation and was routinely listed among the top-five Heisman candidates.[13]

On October 21, 2017, Taylor reached the 1,000 yard rushing mark in his seventh game, matching the FBS freshman record for fewest games to reach 1,000 yards; the previous backs to accomplish this feat were Florida's Emmitt Smith (1987), San Diego State's Marshall Faulk (1991), Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson (2004), North Texas' Jamario Thomas (2004) and Wisconsin's P. J. Hill (2006).[14] Taylor rushed for 183 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown in Wisconsin’s 45–17 win over Indiana on November 4, winning his fifth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award and setting a school-record fifth honor in a single season.

On October 30, Taylor was named as a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award.[15] On November 17, he was named a semi-finalist for the Doak Walker Award given to the top running back in the country.[16] Just three days later, he was named one of three Doak Walker Award finalists, along with Penn State's Saquon Barkley and Stanford's Bryce Love.[17] Following the final game of the season against Wisconsin's rival Minnesota, Taylor won his eighth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award. In doing so, he set a new Big Ten record as he surpassed Ohio State quarterback J. T. Barrett's record of seven Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards set back in 2013. Taylor was listed as a consensus first-team All-Big Ten pick by the Big Ten coaches and media on November 27, 2017, and was named the conference's freshman of the year.

Taylor finished his freshman season with 1,977 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, finishing second all-time in rushing yards among FBS freshmen, behind fellow Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne (2,109 yards in 1996).[18] The NCAA does not include bowl-game stats for the period in which Dayne played, so Taylor is the official record holder for freshman rushing yards.[19] Taylor led the Big Ten and finished third in the FBS in rushing yards, and finished second in the Big Ten in rushing touchdowns behind Barkley.[20][21] He helped the Badgers to the school-record-setting 13 wins, an appearance in the 2017 Big Ten Championship Game, and a victory over Miami (FL) in the Orange Bowl.

Sophomore season

Taylor entered the 2018 season as a consensus preseason All-American[22] and was featured on watch lists for the Maxwell Award,[23] the Doak Walker Award[24] and the Walter Camp Award.[25] Taylor's return, as well as those of many other key members of the 2017 Orange Bowl-winning Wisconsin team, led the Badgers to become ranked fourth in the preseason AP Poll, tied for the highest start in school history.[26]

In the second game of the season, Taylor set a career high with 253 rushing yards, to go along with three touchdowns, in a 45–14 win over New Mexico. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.[27] Taylor again eclipsed the 200-yard mark when he put up 221 yards and three touchdowns on 24 attempts (9.1 yards per attempt) against Nebraska on October 6. However, the Badgers faltered, losing five regular season games and soon falling out of the rankings, but Taylor remained their most consistent offensive weapon. In a triple-overtime win over Purdue on November 17, he put up a career-high 321 yards and three touchdowns.[28] The game earned him his fourth career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors (shared that week with Dwayne Haskins).[29] Wisconsin, 7–5 in the regular season, earned an invitation to the Pinstripe Bowl against Miami (FL) in a rematch of the previous year's Orange Bowl. Taylor put up 205 rushing yards and a touchdown in the game, helping the Badgers to a 35–3 win and earning game MVP honors.[30]

During the 2018 season, Taylor led the FBS in rushing yards (2,194) and attempts (307), and finished in the top ten for yards per attempt (7.1) and rushing touchdowns (16).[31] He received the Doak Walker Award, given annually to college football's top running back. Taylor was named a unanimous first-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, and Big Ten Running Back of the Year. He became the third Badger running back to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark, following Ron Dayne and Melvin Gordon.[32]

Junior season

Taylor was a unanimous preseason All-American heading into the 2019 season, and was widely considered a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate.[33][34] In Wisconsin's opening game against South Florida, Taylor rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns, and added two touchdown receptions through the air. He became the first Big Ten player to record two rushing and receiving touchdowns in the same game since 2010, and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.[35] In a Week 4 victory over No. 11 Michigan, Taylor rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first Wisconsin player to rush for 200 yards against the Wolverines. He earned his sixth career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors for the performance.[36] In a November 16 game against Nebraska, Taylor rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and in the process broke Herschel Walker’s record for the most rushing yards through a junior season.[37] He was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week (along with Shea Patterson), his fourth Player of the Week honors of the season. The next week, against Purdue, Taylor accomplished his FBS-record-setting 12th career 200-yard game.[38]

Taylor and the Badgers represented the West Division in the Big Ten Championship Game, but fell to Ohio State 34–21. The team was invited to the Rose Bowl to play Pac-12 champion Oregon, losing 28–27, to end the year at 10–4. During the Rose Bowl, Taylor eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for the season and became the second FBS player with two 2,000-yard seasons (following Troy Davis).[39] Taylor finished the season tied atop the Big Ten and tied for third nationally with Ohio State's J. K. Dobbins in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Each had 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns.[40] For the second consecutive year, Taylor was named a unanimous first-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, and the Big Ten Running Back of the Year. He was again the recipient of the Doak Walker Award, becoming the first player to win the award twice since Darren McFadden did so in 2006 and 2007.

On January 3, 2020, Taylor announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.[41] Taylor ended his college career at fourth on the all-time FBS rushing-yards list with 6,174 yards.

College statistics

Rushing Receiving
Year Team GP Att Yards Avg Long TDs Avg/G Rec Yards TDs
2017 Wisconsin 14 299 1,977 6.6 75 13 141.2 8 95 0
2018 Wisconsin 13 307 2,194 7.2 88 16 168.8 8 60 0
2019 Wisconsin 14 320 2,003 6.3 72 21 143.1 26 252 5
College Totals 41 926 6,174 6.7 88 50 152.1 42 407 5

College accolades

Awards/honors

National
Big Ten Conference

Records

NCAA Division I FBS
Big Ten Conference

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 10+14 in
(1.78 m)
226 lb
(103 kg)
31+18 in
(0.79 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
4.39 s 4.24 s 7.01 s 36.0 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine[49]

Taylor was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 41st pick by the Indianapolis Colts, who had acquired the pick from the Cleveland Browns in a trade.[50]

2020

Taylor made his NFL debut in Week 1 of the 2020 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had nine carries for 22 rushing yards and six receptions for 67 receiving yards in the 27–20 loss.[51] The following week against the Minnesota Vikings, he had 26 carries for 101 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in the 28–11 victory.[52] In Week 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Taylor recorded 115 yards from scrimmage during the 31–27 win.[53] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on November 28, 2020,[54] and activated on December 2.[55] In Week 13 against the Houston Texans, Taylor recorded 135 yards from scrimmage and a receiving touchdown during the 26–20 win.[56] In Week 14 against the Las Vegas Raiders, Taylor rushed for 150 yards, a career-long 62-yard rush and two touchdowns during the 44–27 win.[57] In Week 16, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he recorded two rushing touchdowns in the 28–24 loss.[58] Taylor had a career game in Week 17, picking up 253 yards, surpassing Edgerrin James for the Colts franchise record for a single game, as well as two touchdowns as he surpassed 1,000 yards on the season and the Colts defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 28–14. Taylor also won FedEx Ground player of the week award in that game, with more yards and yards per carry than Derrick Henry that week. He finished the regular season with 232 rushes for 1,169 yards, 11 touchdowns, and one fumble. He also finished third in the league in rushing yards behind Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry.[59] Taylor was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for his performance in December.[60]

2021

In Week 11 against the Buffalo Bills, Taylor had 204 total yards and five total touchdowns in the Colts' 41–15 win.[61] He is the first player in Colts franchise history to score five touchdowns in one game.[62] Taylor was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.[63]

NFL career statistics

Regular season
Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2020 IND 15 13 232 1,169 5.0 62T 11 36 299 8.3 39T 1 1 1
2021 IND 11 11 193 1,122 5.8 83 13 32 322 10.1 76T 2 3 1
Career 26 24 425 2,291 5.4 83 24 68 621 9.1 76T 3 4 2
Playoffs
2020 IND 1 1 21 78 3.7 20 1 2 6 3.0 6 0 0 0
Career 1 1 21 78 3.7 20 1 2 6 3.0 6 0 0 0

References

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