VT Beat: Hokies’ Taylor Glad to be Back on the Field

In 2010, Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Bruce Taylor made his first start at FedExField against a talented Boise State offense. Virginia Tech lost that game in dramatic fashion, as Boise scored a late touchdown that the Hokies could not recover from. Although that season got off to a rocky start, a new star emerged from the defense. Bruce Taylor, a 6-2 245-lb Myrtle Beach, SC product grew into one of the best linebackers in the ACC.

Last October, in the midst of his second season as a starter, Taylor suffered a Lisfranc sprain in his foot and missed the remainder of the year. Through just eight games he had 53 tackles and five sacks. The year before was his first year in the starter role, and he led the team with 91 tackles and six sacks.

Taylor returned to the field last week for the first time since the foot injury occurred. He admitted to being rusty at times and even getting yelled at by defensive coordinator Bud Foster. Foster expects a lot from his linebackers, and Taylor’s case is no exception. Foster has decided based on personnel that he will move Taylor to the backer position and have Tariq Edwards, Chase Williams and Jack Tyler contribute to the mike linebacker spot. This will allow for Taylor to use his speed to make plays in open spaces, rather than being closed in the middle.

The Tech defense returns nine starters from the 2011 unit that finished the year ranked 10th in the country in total defense. There is more experience and depth in this year’s unit, and with the combination of injuries and a very young offense, the defense will need that depth. Taylor’s health will be instrumental in the success of this year’s team. If Taylor can return and stay healthy, the Virginia Tech defense has the chance to be among the nation’s top ranked defenses yet again.

Don Deibler is a college football enthusiast and Virginia Tech alumnus who has had a passion for college sports since he was a young child. Outside of the ACC, he follows Notre Dame and South Carolina intently. He currently lives in Frederick Maryland where he works in the mortgage banking industry and is in training for Air Traffic Control. You can reach him at [email protected].

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