Delaware State Hornets Great John Taylor Inducted into 49ers Hall of Fame

Courtesy of Delaware State Athletic Media Relations


John Taylor, whose record-setting years at Delaware State led to NFL stardom, Super Bowl championships and induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame, has added another prestigious honor to his list.

Taylor and fellow former San Francisco 49ers great Patrick Willis (LB) were recently inducted into the 49ers’ Hall of Fame during a ceremony which included the addition of their names to the team’s Ring of Honor at Levi Stadium.

“John and Patrick represent two generations of 49ers excellence,” 49ers CEO Jed York said. “They are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade teams, which speaks to how impactful they were on the field. Off the field, they were exemplary and set the standard for what it means to be a 49er. John was an electric wide receiver with some of the most memorable plays in franchise history, including the game-winning 10-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XXIII. Patrick was one of the most dominant linebackers we’ve ever seen. His leadership and passion for the game helped make everyone around him better. We are honored to induct John and Patrick into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame, where they will be forever recognized among our all-time greats.”

Taylor, a standout wide receiver and punt returner, capped off his Delaware State career as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Year in 1985. That season, he earned Black College and Division I-AA All-America honors after topping the MEAC with 15 touchdowns to lead the Hornets to their first conference championship in team history.

Taylor completed his college career as the MEAC’s all-time leader with 42 touchdowns and 254 points.

He is tied for the Hornets’ career record with 33 touchdown catches and is third all-time with 2,426 receiving yards. In addition, Taylor still holds the Delaware State record for receiving yards in a game (223) and the top two longest receptions (97, 93). He previously held the NCAA record for career yards per catch at 24.3.

Taylor ranks fifth in Delaware State history with 3,593 all-purpose yards, is fourth in career punt return yards (576) and second in punt return touchdowns (4).

Taylor was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft. During his nine seasons with San Francisco, he was a member of three Super Bowl Championship teams. He caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Joe Montana in the final seconds of the 49ers’ Super Bowl XXIII win over the Cincinnati Bengals in 1989.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Taylor was selected to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team as a punt returner.

His NFL career statistics include 347 catches, 5,598 receiving yards and 43 touchdown grabs. He was also the first player in NFL history with two touchdown receptions of 90-or-more yards in a game.

Taylor is also a Delaware State University Athletics Hall of Fame, MEAC Hall of Fame and Delaware Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

Hornet Booster Club member Mark Sills joined Taylor’s family, friends and associations, along with former Delaware State teammates for the ceremony in San Francisco.

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A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.