Championship winning RB Jaycen Taylor headed to Belgium’s Limburg Shotguns

Four-time Finnish champion running back with the Helsinki Roosters and MVP of the 2017 season in Finland, Jaycen Taylor has put football and family ahead of his career and joined the Limburg Shotguns in Belgium.

The 5’10”, 190 lb native of Hawthorne, California, who played for three years at Purdue University and won two Italian titles with the Parma Panthers (2011, 2012) and also played for Austrian powerhouse, the Swarco Raiders in 2013, has decided to move to his wife’s home country of Belgium and put his football skills and knowledge to work to help develop the game.

The Limburg Shotguns play in the Belgian second division in 2017 and have only existed since 2008. The team is actually located in the small town of Beringen (45,000) in northeast Belgium. 

Taylor’s resume would make him attractive to almost any team in Europe, and yet he has chosen a totally different career path. To him, building the game in a small club was important, as is evident by his choice.

American Football International caught up with Jaycen on the day he announced his signing with the Shotguns.

American Football International: You have had a highly successful career in Europe winning championships. Who have you played for and how many titles?

Jaycen Taylor: I started in Italy with the Parma Panthers, winning two Italian Championships. Then I moved to play in Austria with the Swarco Raiders. Lastly I moved to Finland and played with the Helsinki Roosters, winning four Finnish Championships, one Champions League Championship (2014) and one NEFL Championship (2017). A total of eight championships in seven years.

AFI: Why the sudden move to Belgium and the Limburg Shotguns?
Taylor: Simple enough I moved to Belgium for family reasons. I am at the point in my life where i would like to start a family. The Shotguns are the closest team to where I stay and seems to be the best team for what I want to accomplish.

AFI: You have slightly different plans than simply playing as a high profile import. What are they?
Taylor: Yes. I want to be apart of a team that would let me help with coaching and help grow the team. Not just be consider an import who only plays. I want to help build a team and make players better. Be at the start of something amazing, and not just coming in on top. (Which has always been the case).. So I would like to experience something different.

Jaycen Taylor dominated in Maple Bowl rushing for 153 yards and 3 TDs Photo: Jari Turunen

AFI: How do you think you can help the Shotguns and football in Belgium?
Taylor: If anything i can elevate the level of the game more. Make it bigger, better and more competitive. Possibly bring more eyes and followers to Belgian football. With the Shotguns I feel i can help out with their level of play, motivate and make my teammates better.

AFI: How long do you plan to stay?
Taylor: Well apparently I cannot seem to sit still anywhere. But the plan is to stay and make the Shotguns family. Stay as long as they are willing to have me be apart of their team. And continue to build build build..

AFI: Do you plan to play at a high level again?
Taylor: I will be playing at the highest level in Belgium, and I’m happy to be with these guys.

I do want to THANK the few teams that has been in contact with me. The love is highly appreciated!!

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.