Position: Tight End
Location: Philadelphia, Pa. (Imhotep Institute)
Offers: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Boston College, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, N.C. State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, UCF, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wisconsin
Ranking: Four-star tight end on 247Sports.com, No. 5 tight end overall
It is no surprise that Naseir Upshur has an elite offer sheet to go along with his elite talent on the football field and on Tuesday, September 1, one team will earn his commitment.
Ranked as a high four-star prospect, last year Upshur recorded 22 receptions for 640 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns for his Imhotep team. In addition, Upshur contributed 20 tackles and six sacks at defensive end as well, shedding light on his superior athleticism.
Unlike most receiving-oriented tight ends, Upshur takes pride in his blocking and looks downright nasty at the point attack by finishes his blocks when engaged and maintaining a low pad level. This trait will help Upshur see the field early in college.
As for his receiving talents, Upshur is a dangerous weapon in the passing game. As a dynamic red zone threat, Upshur runs crisp routes and doesn’t fight the ball when catching passes. Upshur is tough to bring down after the catch when running through the secondary and keeps his speed well in and out of cuts.
A direct result of his talent, Upshur received an invitation to Nike’s The Opening, an elite summer football camp held at Nike’s Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Upshur had a strong three days of competition on Team Superbad against the country’s top linebackers and safety prospects.
Upshur recently postponed his commitment date after five-star tight end Isaac Nauta decommitted from Florida State, although it is unknown what impact Nauta’s decision had—if any—on Upshur’s plans.
Teams in the mix
Michigan has long held a spot in Upshur’s top group, even dating back to Brady Hoke’s regime, and the now-Jim Harbaugh led Wolverines remain a top contender in this recruitment.
Upshur took a visit to campus over the summer and shared his take on the visit with Scout.com’s Sam Webb and Kyle Bogenschutz.
“That was my second time at Michigan,” Upshur said. “With the coaching staff and all, I had a great time I saw the academic part and that was great, got to see how I would be used as a tight end and that was a big part of me going down there. I enjoyed it a lot.”
Upshur has consistently listed Michigan as a top program deserving of his consideration often throughout the process, and the four-star appears to have even more interest in Michigan with the new coaching staff in Ann Arbor.
“Coach Harbaugh is just a great guy,” Upshur said. “He’s all about improving. No school ever told me I need to improve at this, improve at that, so when I got down there he had pictures and everything already set down for me about where I need to get better at.
“It’s blocking plays where I was just throwing people and he said I could be better at this part and that part. That stood out to me a lot.”
As for his potential position coach at the next level should he choose Michigan, Upshur says that he has a unique connection with tight end coach Jay Harbaugh.
“We listen to the same music and everything,” Upshur said. “We talk about a lot of stuff together. We can have conversations for a long time so, I’ve got a great relationship with him.”
Upshur maintains that he will take an official visit to Michigan and Florida State later in the process. In fact, Upshur has already schedule his official trip to the Seminoles’ campus, a visit that is slated for October 10 for the Miami game.
After postponing his commitment date, Upshur promptly took a visit to Florida State, a place that he had only seen once prior in the recruiting process. Upshur spoke about his time in Tallahassee with Scout.com’s Wayne McGahee.
“I want to see everything,” Upshur said. “Florida State runs a pro style offense, and coach Fisher and coach Brewster are just some great dudes with great backgrounds.”
Just like with the younger Harbaugh, Upshur maintains a strong relationship with the tight end coach at Florida State, Tim Brewster. Upshur says he was made aware of Nauta’s decommitment.
“I was in contact with coach Brewster every day before he decommitted,” Upshur said. “It doesn’t change my opinion of Florida State at all.”
As for his potential fit in the Seminoles’ offense, Brewster feels that Upshur’s combination of size and talent would be advantageous for FSU.
“He said that I’d fit well in the Florida State offense,” Upshur said. “He can see me being great.”
Upshur is also considering South Carolina, Arizona State and Temple, but Michigan and Florida State are believed to be the front-runners.
Prediction: Florida State