Bruce Taylor, who was born in Riceboro, made his first career NFL game appearance Thursday as a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals in their preseason 34-10 win in Atlanta.
The 6-foot-1, 245-pound rookie had one assisted tackle.
Taylor was born in Liberty County but attended Myrtle Beach High School in South Carolina. He signed with the Bengals as a free agent April 30 after playing four years at Virginia Tech.
According to the Bengals website, Taylor twice was named Sun News “Toast of the Coast” defensive football player of the year at Myrtle Beach High. During his senior year, he earned first-team AP all-state honors and helped the team have an undefeated regular season. Taylor was ranked the No. 6 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com.
At Virginia Tech, Taylor was considered for play time as a true freshman until he suffered a shoulder injury. In his freshman year, he played in six games, recording six tackles. In his sophomore season, Taylor started every game and led the team in tackles with 91. He tallied six sacks and had a team-high 15.5 tackles for loss. He was named Athletic Coast Conference lineman of the week on two occasions and had seven tackles in the Orange Bowl loss to Stanford.
He missed the last four games of his junior year due to an injury but still was named honorable mention All-ACC. He had five sacks and seven tackles for loss.
In his senior year, he was honorable mention All-ACC selection, as well as a coaches’ All-ACC selection. Taylor appeared in all 12 games, with 11 starts and finished the season with 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. Taylor led the team with 11 tackles in the Russell Athletic Bowl overtime win over Rutgers.
Taylor played in 40 games with 33 starts, and had 226 tackles and 41 quarterback pressures.