Taylor came into the NFL as a ninth pick overall in 1998, rushed for 11,695 yards and had an overall 74 touchdowns, respectively.
I have watched Taylor for all of his 13 seasons and have been impressed with the level of integrity he showed on the field.
The salt of the Earth as some would say.
Always the team captain, the quiet general that kept his team poised in battle. In victory or defeat, Taylor knew that he was given a good fortune to be able to play in the NFL and he took each day and each carry like it was his last. He did it honorably.
With only one Pro Bowl in his career, you didn't hear Taylor complain. He wasn't one to stand in front of a camera and demand more money. He didn't bring attention to himself unless he was running down the field.
Taylor was a great role model, leader and anything but fragile!
Despite his injuries he persevered. Taylor made his passion known. He will retire as the Jaguars all-time leading rusher.
He wasn't flashy, wasn't even expressive, yet what he did was lead by example of what others should learn about the characters of a real football player.
He never won a Super Bowl, but you wouldn't know it. He was a National Champion at the University of Florida, but you wouldn't know it. He has collected accolades from high school on up to his last day as a professional athlete.
Taylor finished his career ranked 15th all-time in rushing, but you wouldn't know it.
You see, here is an example of a man that went to work every day, brutal as it was. He provided for his family just like any other hard working American. What separates Fred Taylor from many other NFL rushers, is that he was a one-of-a-kind in character as he was at work.
You did this football fan proud. You honored the sport the way it is supposed to be.
Hope to see you in Canton, Fred. Enjoy your retirement as much as you enjoyed playing the game.