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Cincinnati Bearcats Football Season in Review: Leonard Taylor

Taylor provided brief flashes of his potential last year. Those flashes could turn into certified star power next season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 04 UCF at Cincinnati Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Numbers

  • 4 receptions
  • 37 yards
  • 1 touchdown

In his first two seasons as a member of the Cincinnati Bearcats, Leonard Taylor has amassed 68 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions. However, it would be a mistake to jump off the former four-star recruit’s hype train because big things could be on the way next season.

The evidence for such a statement begins with his work last year, which marked his second at UC. Taylor was the highest rated recruit for UC’s vaunted 2018 class, according to 247Sports, but he didn’t do all that much as a freshman. Last year, as a sophomore, he still didn’t have the stat line of a future star, but the progress he displayed was promising. He caught four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown, outpacing his work from the year before. He also displayed some downfield receiving ability, which the Bearcats are really going to need at tight end now that Josiah Deguara is going to start playing on Sundays.

Beyond the improvement, albeit meager, in terms of pass-catching, Taylor also got more of a shot to prove himself last season. He appeared in 14 games and started twice, which was something he did not do at all as a freshman.

The Best of the Best

Nov. 9, 2019 vs. UConn

Taylor only caught one pass in this game and it didn’t conclude in the end zone, but the fact that it went for 20 yards showed his potential as a receiving threat.

For Next Year

Opportunities are going to really open up for Taylor next year or whenever college football is able to be played again. That four-star rating didn’t come from nowhere and the potential is still there. Taylor wasn’t a standout star as a sophomore, but he got to get in some important reps and set himself up as a candidate to take Deguara’s role in the offense. As the Bearcats showed last year, they are comfortable with featuring the tight end heavily in the pass game when they have the right person for the job. Taylor might just be that person, although he’ll have to contend for the position, with Bruno Labelle and Josh Whyle his biggest competition.