Former Badgers back Jonathan Taylor launches scholarship program
Just a few months after hearing his name called during the 2020 NFL Draft, former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is already prepared to give back to his community in a big way.
Taylor, who is now with the Indianapolis Colts, has launched a new scholarship program named “Be The Change,” which will provide scholarships to Black student-athletes who are college bound and are graduating from Salem High School in New Jersey, his alma mater.
“Coming from a small town of Salem, N.J., where everyone knows everyone and you have the support of the community, one thing I wanted to do was give back to that community, give back to the kids there, because I know how powerful that would be,” Taylor told Colts.com.
Taylor was selected by the Colts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He was taken No. 41 overall and many believe he could make a quick impact on the field in Indianapolis.
But before Taylor takes a single handoff in the NFL, he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to give back to his hometown of Salem, New Jersey. He also detailed what he will be looking for when awarding scholarships.
“We don’t want to have student-athletes have that persona that, ‘You’re an athlete, so you should get just get things handed to you,'” Taylor said. “We want to let kids know that, ‘Hey, no matter what position you’re in, you have to work for it, day in and day out.
“I think one of the biggest things we look for is character, and we’ll have a really high emphasis on this. It’ll be heavily looked at, just because you want high-character kids to know that it goes a long way.”
Taylor had a magnificent career during his three years at Wisconsin. He piled up 6,174 rushing yards, 407 receiving yards and accounted for 55 total touchdowns with the Badgers. He eclipsed the 2,000-yard barrier in his final two seasons, was a two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award and was a two-time consensus First-Team All-American.
There’s no question has made a huge impact on the field. Now, he’ll be making a huge impact in his community.