Jelani Taylor | Cornell| SS/FS/CB | #23 | SR | 5110 | 195 | Beecher, MI | Beecher HS | Pro Days: March 12th @ Columbia, March 23rd @ Cornell
A First Team All-Ivy League standout and team captain, Taylor boasts great leadership, smarts and instincts. He possesses an excellent combination of size/length and athleticism. His long arms enable him to stay in proper phase while in off coverage. Taylor demonstrates excellent patience and great ball skills in man coverage, he stays in proper initial phase and understands angles. One of his best attributes is his ability to break down and make tackles in space, a trait that also shows up as a gunner on special teams. Taylor could be asked to bulk up if he remains at safety at the next level, he can play either safety spot or cornerback. He’ll need to prove his straight line speed and short area burst at pro day. Overall, Taylor projects as a safety ball-hawk who can contribute immediately on special teams.
Jelani Edward Isaac Taylor is the son of Jason Taylor and Monica McKeller and has an older brother and a younger brother and sister. Taylor was a two-time first-team all-state selection by the Detroit Free Press as a senior safety at Beecher HS; the Flint Journal Defensive Player of the Year recorded 84 tackles and had five interceptions as a senior while scoring four times at wide receiver. The four-year team captain and three-time first-team all-conference pick ended his career with 273 tackles, 11 interceptions and 10 sacks on defense and accounted for 17 offensive touchdowns. Taylor was an academic all-state selection in his final season and played safety, wide receiver and quarterback during his four years. He also lettered in track and field and basketball. Enrolled in the School of Hotel Administration (graduated December). A Finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, the "Academic Heisman".
First on the team and second in the Ivy League with 76 tackles in 2019; also led the team in passes defended (14), interceptions (3) and forced fumbles (2). Finished his career with 187 tackles, 30 pass deflections, three interceptions and four forced fumbles.