Like many of the nation’s top underclassmen, Bradenton (Fla.) Braden River High School defensive end Taylor Upshaw has seen his offer list grow during this football season. In just the last few months, several prestigious Power 5 programs have offered the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder.
“The recruiting process is going great,” Upshaw recently told Today’s U. “The schools that have offered me are USF, UCF, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Navy, California and Northwestern. I do not have a favorite school as of now. The schools that are interested in me heavily right now that haven’t offered yet are Florida State and the University of North Carolina.”
Blessed to receive my 7th offer from Northwestern!! My first Big Ten offer! Go Wildcats!! pic.twitter.com/BCVcfaZ6zU
— Taylor Upshaw (@UpshawT80) October 27, 2016
Upshaw has already taken unofficial visits to South Florida, Central Florida, Miami, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida State, but so far, everything is still wide open in his recruitment.
“I’m very pleased that these universities are interested in me,” Upshaw told Today’s U. “Nothing crazy has stood out to me. For right now, I’m looking for what’s the best fit.
“I do not have a favorite as of now, I’m still exploring my options.”
With just a few regular season games left on each college football program’s schedule, Upshaw doesn’t have any plans in the works to catch any of them, but he does have a list of schools he hopes to visit within the next year.
“I have no other visits planned right now, but I would like to visit Vanderbilt, California, Pittsburgh and Clemson in the future and Navy,” Upshaw told Today’s U.
“My brother (Regan Upshaw Jr.) plays for Clemson, but I wouldn’t say they have an advantage. It’s just that’s something I would take into consideration.”
One thing unique about Taylor’s situation is that this is the first year he’s ever played football and he’s quickly coming a prized recruit.
“Well having this be my first year ever playing football, college coaches are impressed with my get-off, the use of my hands and my length. Most of them see me as a strong side defensive end, but some have mentioned me playing a three-technique depending on my development.”
Whenever Upshaw truly dives into the recruiting process and narrows down his list, there are three main things at this point that he will be considering in each school.
“Academics and if the football program will develop me as a player and if the university will prepare me for life after football,” Upshaw said.
With still a year and a few months left to figure things out, Upshaw isn’t in any hurry to make a decision, but he does have a time frame in mind.
“I’m thinking about committing before my senior season, but I’m still thinking about it,” Upshaw said. “A top five hasn’t even crossed my mind yet.”
Although the son of former NFL first round draft pick Regan Upshaw is just in his first year of football, the game has come naturally for him. However, he knows he needs to continue to improve in several areas to reach his potential at the next level.
“I’d like to get better in my all-around game,” Upshaw said. “I’d like to get bigger and stronger during the off-season and improve my football knowledge.”