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Jonathan Taylor (American football)

Jonathan Taylor (born January 19, 1999) is an American football running back for the Wisconsin Badgers. During the 2018 season he won the Doak Walker Award, the award for the top running back in college football.[1]

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor.png
Wisconsin Badgers – No. 23
PositionRunning back
Career history
Bowl games
High schoolSalem (NJ)
Personal information
Born: (1999-01-19) January 19, 1999 (age 20)
Salem, New Jersey
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight214 lb (97 kg)
Career highlights and awards


Early yearsEdit

Taylor attended Salem High School in Salem, New Jersey. During his career he had 4,642 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns. As a senior, he set the New Jersey record with 2,815 rushing yards, which was held by former Wisconsin Badgers running back, Corey Clement.[2][3] His senior year he averaged 234.6 yards a game, while scoring 37 touchdowns (35 rushing).[3] His senior year of high school he was honored as the Jim Henry Award recipient as the high school area player of the year for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.[3] Taylor was also an accomplished performer in track and field, his senior year he won two state titles in the 100-meter dash, with his best time 10.49 seconds.[4] He originally committed to play college football at Rutgers University but changed his commitment to the University of Wisconsin.[5][6]

College careerEdit

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 it allowed Taylor to get more reps in practice. Taylor used these reps to showcase more and more of his abilities and the coaching staff gave him more reps accordingly. His first snap in scrimmage against the first team defense he ran for a 70-yard touchdown, later on that practice he caught a pass over the middle of the field and ran in for a touchdown as well. After his performances in fall camp Taylor opened his freshman year at Wisconsin in 2017 as one of the team's co-starting running backs, along side Bradrick Shaw and Chris James.[7][8] In his first career game he rushed for 87 yards over nine carries and a touchdown.[9] In his second game, he rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns.[10] After Taylor ran for 249 yards against Nebraska in the fifth game of the season he entered the Heisman Trophy conversation and afterwards was routinely in the top 5 Heisman candidates.[11]

On October 21, 2017, Taylor reached the 1,000 yard rushing mark in his 7th game, matching the FBS freshman record for fewest games needed to record 1,000 yards. He joins 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).[12] Taylor rushed for 183 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown in Wisconsin’s 45–17 win over Indiana November 4, 2017, winning his 5th 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.[13] On November 17, he was named a semi-finalist for the Doak Walker Award for the top running back in the country.[14] 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.[15] Following the final game of the season against Wisconsin's rival, Minnesota, Taylor won his 8th 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 7 Big Ten Freshman of the week awards set back in 2013. Through twelve games Taylor rushed for 1,806 yards, placing him third on the list for all time FBS freshman rushing yards behind Ron Dayne (2,109 yards in 1996) and Adrian Peterson (1,925 yards in 2004).[16] Jonathan Taylor was listed as a Consensus First-team All-Big Ten pick by the Big Ten coaches and Media on November 27, 2017.

College statisticsEdit

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
College Totals 27 606 4,171 6.8 88 29 154.5 16 155 0

College accoladesEdit


Big Ten Conference
  • Big Ten Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year (2018)
  • Big Ten Thompson–Randle El Freshman of the Year (2017)
  • 2× Consensus First-team All-Big Ten (2017,2018)
  • 4× Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (2× 2017, 2× 2018)
  • 8× Big Ten Freshman of the Week (2017)


  • Most combined rushing totals as a freshman and sophomore: 4,171[20]
  • Most rushing yards in a season in FBS by a freshman: 1,997
  • Fewest games for a freshman to reach 1,000 rushing yards in FBS history: 7 games (tied with 6 others)[21]
Big Ten Conference
  • Most Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards: 8[22]


  1. ^ Journal, Jason Galloway | Wisconsin State. "Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor becomes 4th Wisconsin player to win Doak Walker Award". Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "UW freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor appears ready to play this season if needed".
  3. ^ a b c "Jonathan Taylor of Salem receives Jim Henry Award for record-breaking football season".
  4. ^ "Jonathan Taylor's maturity, skill remind former UW linemen of Ron Dayne as a freshman".
  5. ^ "Should Rutgers worry about RB commit Jonathan Taylor's Wisconsin official visit?".
  6. ^ "Rutgers RB decommit Jonathan Taylor picks Wisconsin".
  7. ^ "Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor the star of the show in Badgers' 31-14 victory against Florida Atlantic".
  8. ^ Galloway, Jason. "Badgers football: True freshman Jonathan Taylor named co-starter at running back for Wisconsin". Wisconsin State Journal.
  9. ^ "Jonathan Taylor's impressive Wisconsin Badgers debut". September 6, 2017.
  10. ^ "- The Washington Post". Washington Post.
  11. ^ Oates, Tom. "Tom Oates: Badgers freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor isn't caught up in Heisman buzz". Wisconsin State Journal.
  12. ^ "Wisconsin Athletics - Gm7_WIS_Postgame_Notes_UMD_171021.pdf" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Maxwell Award misspells Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor's name in semifinal list".
  14. ^ "Two B1G running backs named semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award".
  15. ^ "Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor named finalist for Doak Walker Award".
  16. ^ "Jonathan Taylor highlights Week 13 Big Ten individual honors".
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor ties FBS record for quickest freshman to 1,000 yards". October 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "Big Ten Official Athletic Site".

External linksEdit