2021 will be Rod Taylor’s inaugural season for the Pirates. He’s an athletic, strong blocker who can play across the offensive line. Taylor last played football as a member of the XFL’s Team 9, an extra squad the league maintained for teams to fill needed roster spots. In 2018 Taylor was a 7th round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was expected to make the team but tore an ACL on the first day of training camp and was eventually released. As an all-around athlete, Taylor will be a welcome addition to the Pirates’ offensive line this season.
Taylor started all 12 games for the University of Mississippi in 2017 at right tackle. While the Rebels finished a disappointing 6-6 on the season, Taylor performed consistently all year. Against Louisiana-Lafayette he helped the team amass over 600 total yards of offense, 253 of those on the ground. The Rebels gained over 500 total offensive yards twice and, led by running back Jordan Wilkins, who gained over 1,000 on the season, managed to rush for over 200 yards in several games.
Starting 7 times during the 2016 season, Taylor contributed to an offense ranked 13th nationally in passing, 315 yards per game, and fewest tackles for loss per game, 4.67. Against number-one ranked Alabama, Taylor helped pave the way for over 520 yards total offense. In a game against Memphis, he helped the team gain 624 yards good for fifth best in team history. Taylor also played an important role in allowing just 1 sack against 11th ranked Georgia.
As a sophomore in 2015 Taylor played in 10 games, starting twice at right guard. He contributed to an offense that shattered many single-season records, including most total yards, points, touchdowns, and passing yards. Against Fresno State Taylor helped as the Rebel offense scored 73 points and gained 607 total yards. To finish the season, Taylor and the Rebels played in the Sugar Bowl, winning by a score of 48-20.
Taylor played in every game as a true freshman and helped the Rebels reach the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against TCU. Taylor was named an All-American in high school by both UnderArmour and Maxpreps. In addition, he helped his high school basketball team win back-to-back state titles in 2012 & 2013. Taylor will be entering his age-26 season with Massachusetts this year.