When you think of the best players to ever suit up for the Jacksonville Jaguars, running back Fred Taylor is one of the first who comes to mind. While he became known for wearing No. 28 during his playing days, he recently revealed that he chose it only because he would've had to pay for the number he originally wanted.
Taylor was in Las Vegas representing Crown Royal, one of his longtime partnerships. At the 25th Annual Super Bowl Soulful Celebration, the 2007 Pro Bowler presented former wide receiver Nate Burleson with the "Lifetime of Inspiration: That Deserves a Crown Award." Accompanying the award was a $25,000 donation to the Michigan Veterans Foundation on his behalf from the Crown Royal Generosity Fund.
On the Stacking the Box podcast, Taylor, after talking about his signature "Freddy T" (a splash of ginger ale added to Crown Royal), explained that he wanted to wear No. 21. But a teammate of his had already claimed it and wanted $50,000 to give it up. So, Taylor decided on No. 28 instead because he modeled his game after Marshall Faulk.
"I can tell you a quick story. I wore No. 21 In college, and I thought I would get it in the NFL. But my teammate who had it at the time, he wanted $50,000 for it. I won't say his name, but he's a great guy. We became amazing teammates. So No. 28 was available, and the guy I modeled my game after was Marshall Faulk.
"I saw him as a freshman, he tore up the University of Miami. He was in their heyday back in those days. And he had an amazing game, almost went for 200 [yards] as a freshman, and I wanted to play like him. So when I had to make a decision on the number, 28 was open. I took it," Taylor said.
This isn't the first time Taylor has stated that he wore No. 28 because he looked up to Faulk. However, it might've been the first time he confided that he originally wanted to wear No. 21.
Even though Taylor chose not to name the player who wore No. 21 at the time he had to choose, it's fair to assume it was former cornerback Aaron Beasley, who was on the Jaguars roster from 1996-2001.
Fred Taylor chose a great RB to model his game after
There may not be a better option to model your game after than Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk. Drafted second overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 1991, he's best remembered for being an integral part of the Rams' Greatest Show on Turf.
During his prime, Faulk was a dual threat, becoming the second running back ever to register over 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 receiving in the same season. If that wasn't enough, he earned three first-team All-Pro designations, seven Pro Bowl selections and league MVP honors in 1999.
By the end of his illustrious NFL career, Faulk had tallied 12,279 rushing yards and 6,974 receiving yards on 767 receptions. That's as many catches as several Hall of Fame receivers. To nobody's surprise, Faulk was enshrined in 2011. For, his part, Fred Taylor also had a fine career, registering 11,695 rushing yards with 66 touchdowns during a 13-year span.
While Taylor doesn't enjoy as much name recognition or has as many accolades as Faulk, he was routinely one of the top running backs in the NFL in the 2010s. Rightfully, he's frequently garnered Hall of Fame consideration and was a finalist for the 2024 class.
Fred Taylor participated in this Super Bowl Media Week interview on behalf of Crown Royal.