Bengals CB Cam Taylor-Britt Earns College Degree: ‘I Was Trying To Hold Back Tears’

    Bengals cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt said he initially wanted Nebraska to mail him his diploma, but his family talked him into attending the ceremony.

    CINCINNATI – Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt has felt — and looked — as though he belongs from the moment the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the second round in 2022.

    But there have been a couple of times when that wasn’t the case.

    Every year, the Bengals gather for a team photo with the players wearing gear from the college they attended. But only players who actually graduated are invited to be a part of it.

    Taylor-Britt remembers feeling like an outsider on that photo day in 2022 and 2023.

    “Most definitely felt left out, but I knew my time was coming,” Taylor-Britt said Tuesday afternoon, three days after his time came.

    Bengals CB Cam Taylor-Britt Celebrates Graduation

    Taylor-Britt spent this offseason finishing the final semester he needed to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in child, youth, and family studies from the University of Nebraska.

    Saturday afternoon, Taylor-Britt walked across the stage inside Memorial Stadium to receive his diploma as Cornhusker fans cheered and his family members cried.

    His mother, Courtney, proudly posted a video of her son, diploma in hand, on X (formerly Twitter).

     

    “As a man, I want to finish anything I start,” Taylor-Britt said. “But it was more my family, honestly. Big kudos to my family for always pushing me and Nebraska for standing behind me.

    “It felt great to be back home,” he added. “I was trying to hold back tears every which way.”

    Taylor-Britt was a semester shy of graduating when he left school in Dec. 2021 to prepare for the NFL Draft.

    “I had to go make one dream happen before I make the other one happen,” he said.

    The offseason following his rookie year was hectic after the Bengals played deep into January, reaching the AFC Championship Game, so he held off on going back to school until this offseason.

    Taylor-Britt said he spent some time in the country with his parents while completing his degree online and focusing on his future.

    His plans for his career after football are to mentor young people.

    “I want to speak in front of people, with kids most likely. Be that light for them,” Taylor-Britt said. “And with the criminal justice part, keeping kids out of the judicial system, just show them the right way. I know I can relate to them a lot better than some others.”

    Taylor-Britt will hold his first youth football camp in Lincoln, Neb., later this summer.

    Everything from his decision to go back to school to making plans for his post-NFL career to growing as a player are signs of maturity for Taylor-Britt as he enters his third season in the league.

    He said maturity and growth are something he talks about frequently with Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Charles Burks.

    “I can feel the growth honestly, just out on the field with my decision-making and off-the-field decision-making, wanting to do certain things and sitting out certain events,” Taylor-Britt said. “It’s panning out great for me. You have to grow. If you stay in the same place, you won’t get better.”

    Proof of how fast things move in the NFL is that Taylor-Britt all of a sudden is one of the oldest cornerbacks on the team at just 24 (he’ll be 25 in October).

    Asked what advice he would give rookies, such as fifth-round draft pick Josh Newton, Taylor-Britt said it’s the same thing he will tell young people when he gets a chance to speak in front of them.

    “You can’t listen and talk at the same time,” he said with a knowing smirk, understanding that he is one of the most talkative players on the team.

    “Of course, you want to ask questions and this and that, but you most have to gather the information in a way that you understand it,” he added. “Gain the information, process it, and take action.”

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