Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer, Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Lineman Jawaan Taylor Ready for Challenge vs. Kansas City Chiefs
By Zach Clark // January 20, 2023
selected to the Pro Football Writers Association 2019 All-Rookie Team
2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Lineman Jawaan Taylor is Ironman in NFL.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA –Jawaan Taylor, offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars and former standout at Cocoa High School, is ready for center stage when the Jaguars take on the Kansas City Chiefs tomorrow afternoon in Kansas City.
Taylor, a member of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame as part of its 2020 class, will hope to lead his team to the AFC Championship with a win in Kansas City.
Taylor was inducted alongside a pair of former Cocoa High teammates back in 2020 including Philadelphia Eagles safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Jamel Dean.
Taylor is living his NFL dream simultaneously with two peers he grew up playing with is something he seems to cherish.
“It’s a blessing. Us three all playing together in Little League,” Taylor said.
“We all started out in flag football together. Me and Chauncey have been playing football together every year since we were four years old, so we were on the same team all through little league, all through high school, all through college. That was a great experience to see all our dreams fulfilled because you know from day 1 we already knew our dreams and aspirations were to play in the NFL.”
Taylor credits some of his success to former head coach at Cocoa High School, John Wilkinson, who was inducted in the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
“He was a father figure,” Taylor said.
It was Wilkinson, Taylor says, along with his family that helped him during a career-altering summer following his junior season in which he lost an astonishing 52 pounds, making him more attractive to prospective schools.
“I started getting really good offers then,” said Taylor, who added that the “light switch really switched on” for him that summer.
Prior to signing to play college football at the University of Florida, Taylor had committed to the University of Miami, but Taylor says he ended up going to Florida after Miami fired former head coach Al Golden and his staff.
“When I was getting ready to commit somewhere, I wanted to make sure it was a place that felt like home as well,” Taylor said.
Despite overcoming some adversity in the form of having different coaches throughout his time at the school and a torn meniscus that he says he suffered prior to the start of his sophomore season, Taylor excelled at the school.
In particular, Taylor says he knew he was ready for the next level at the end of his junior season.
“Right towards the end of the last quarter of the season, that’s what I really wanted to do,” said Taylor, regarding his decision to forego his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft.
And sure enough, Taylor got the opportunity to see his dream become a reality on April 26, 2019, when he was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 35th overall pick in the draft.
“It was the best experience of a lifetime,” said Taylor.
In his rookie season, Taylor started the first game and had such a successful season in 2019 that he was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team.
“I played 1,000 snaps, started every game, I owe a lot of that credit to just how I prepared,” Taylor said.
In recognition of his incredible success at the high school, college and professional levels, Space Coast Daily was proud to announce Taylor as an inductee into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Jawaan Taylor, offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars and former standout at Cocoa High School and the University of Florida will be inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame as part of its 2020 class on May 8 at the Cocoa Beach Country Club.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Eastern Florida State Athletic Director Jeff Carr takes you on a video tour of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, which is located in the field house of the Melbourne EFSC campus. Brevard’s finest sportsmen and women will be inducted into the 2022 Class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame this spring. For information about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, or to make a nomination, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Committee announced Wednesday the annual SCSHOF Induction Banquet and Breakfast of Champions Awards event will be held in person this spring for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exact date and venue will be announced by March 1.
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction festivities include a meet and greet with the area’s sports royalty, dinner and the induction proceeding, which includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
HALL OF FAME NOMINEES SELECTED IN FOUR CATEGORIES
Nominees are chosen in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports. Special honorary recognition is also be bestowed upon individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
The list of potential and deserving candidates for induction traditionally includes athletes and coaches everybody knows – and some that may have been forgotten with the passing of time.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and has so far inducted more than 190 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
The main athletic building on the Melbourne Campus of Eastern Florida State College hosts the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, as portraits of the Hall of Famers are displayed on the wall in the building’s main hallway that runs parallel to the gym and outside the athletic department offices.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Partner Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Executive Editor Zach Clark, the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, Sports Editor Juan Rodriguez, Social Media Director Matt O’Hern, Multimedia Producer Jordan Rocco, Digital Producer Ron Lighthall, Production Director Brian Dillon, Production Supervisor Gavin Keith, Sports Broadcaster Daryl Durand and Amateur Athletic Union President Rusty Buchanan.
“The inductees for the Space Coast Sports all of Fame’s Class of 2021 includes athletes and coaches everybody knows – and some that may have been forgotten with the passing of time,” said Tom Palermo.
Susong has been watching and covering sports on the Space Coast for more than 30 years and has interviewed many of the area’s outstanding athletes on the Friday Night Locker Room.
“It’s amazing how many outstanding athletes have come from Brevard County,” said Susong.
Susong and Wilson were inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and have been broadcasting youth and high school sports for more than 20 years.
“We receive nominations for athletes that competed 30, 40, or even 50 years ago – it’s satisfying to be able to recognize these individuals who have been forgotten but made an indelible mark on sports on the Space Coast,” said Malone.
Avid sports fan, Dr. Jim Palermo, said, “I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to live and work in Brevard County for more than 39 years, during which time I’ve had the pleasure of watching and following so many superlative athletes ascend through local junior and school sports programs to the college level, and some into the pros.”
To make a nomination for the 2022 Class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111. The deadline for submissions is March 15.
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS HONORS YOUTH, PREP ATHLETES
In conjunction with the Hall of Fame festivities, the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Committee also announced that Space Coast Daily, Brevard Public Schools and Eastern Florida State College will once again collaborate to host in-person the Brevard County Breakfast of Champions to honor the best in Brevard High School athletes, coaches, and administrators.
As always, these events will be held on the same day and are the premier annual sports recognition celebrations on the Space Coast. The Breakfast of Champions event is held in the morning and the Hall of Fame induction festivities are held in the evening. During the festivities, 39 awards will be presented to the best of the best student-athletes.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME