The Jaguars will have another opportunity to see one of their former players immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after running back Fred Taylor was named among the 28 Modern-Erspan Plspanyer Semifinspanlists for the 2023 HOF Class.
Earlier this year, Jacksonville saw its first former player enter the hall when left tackle Tony Boselli wspans enshrined. Boselli was a semifinalist for seven consecutive years prior to being inducted. Taylor has been a semifinalist for four straight years. He has yet to be named among the 15 finalists.
Former Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith was not named among the 28 semifinalists. He was part of the Hall’s initial 129 nominees.
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Taylor spent the first 11 years of his career in Jacksonville, accounting for 11,271 rushing yards (franchise record) and 66 rushing touchdowns. Taylor was the second player inducted into the Jaguars’ “Pride of the Jaguars” ring of honor (2012), which includes Boselli, quarterback Mark Brunell and Smith.
He finished his 13-year career with 11,695 rushing yards, which currently ranks as the 17th most rushing yards in NFL history.
Ahead of him are 14 HOF backs along with Adrien Peterson and Frank Gore. Neither are currently eligible for the HOF but are likely to get in. Gore ranks third all-time in rushing with 16,000 rushing yards, while Peterson has 14,918 yards. Gore retired earlier this year and Peterson is currently active, but not on a team.
Earlier this year, Boselli took to to advocate for Taylor’s eventual induction, noting Taylor needs to be recognized for his achievements.
“I think Fred Taylor is probably one of the most under-appreciated running backs in his era. He has over 12,000 yards and he averaged 4.6 yards a carry,” Boselli said in February.
“He gets knocked because he didn’t make All-Pro and there isn’t a big number of Pro Bowls [for him], but if you go ask anyone who played with him or anyone who played against him, there is not a more dangerous back. His stats back it up.”
This year’s semifinalist list marked the largest number of semifinalists since 2004. It includes 19 players who were semifinalists for the Class of 2022, along with five players who have made the cut in their first year of eligibility.
The five first-time players are offensive linemen Jahri Evans and Joe Thomas, defensive lineman Dwight Freeney, linebacker James Harrison and defensive back Darrelle Revis. Each last played in the 2017 season.
Fifteen finalists will be revealed in January while the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be inducted during NFL Honors, taking place in the days leading up to Super Bowl LVII.