The Michigan coaching staff has done very well developing lower rated defensive line recruits into NFL draft picks and they’ll have another chance to do so as 2018 Braden River (FL) DE Taylor Upshaw has flipped his verbal commitment from Florida to Michigan.
Committed! 〽️🔵 pic.twitter.com/mAtrz0S9u5
— TAYLOR UPSHAW (@UpshawT80) November 25, 2017
Upshaw is another project in this recruiting class but one that the coaching staff was clearly excited to take on. Only playing football for two years, Upshaw has the elite size and length for a defensive lineman (his father is former All-American at Cal and10 year NFL defensive lineman, Regan Upshaw) but still needs plenty of time on the practice field and in the weight room to add the correct size for whichever position he ends up at. It looks like it’ll be at either the five-technique or the three-technique. At either position, with some time, he could be a nice player for the coaching staff given his natural size and athleticism, as well as his NFL genes.
After committing to Florida back in June, it looked unlikely that Upshaw would end up not signing with the Gators. However, poor performances led to a mid-season firing of head coach Jim McElwain. And Michigan jumped at the opportunity to target some of UF’s commitments. Upshaw was the commit that reciprocated the most interest as he quickly scheduled an official visit to see Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game.
There was plenty of buzz coming into the visit but it was Michigan’s Recruiting Coordinator, Matt Dudek and then its Director of Player Personnel, Sean McGee‘s tweets that were followed up by TMI’s Sam Webb dropping a patented “gut feel” about Upshaw flipping to the Wolverines. And the three star prospect didn’t waste much time officially announcing it as he committed to Michigan during his official visit for the OSU game.
The coaching staff’s resume and Taylor’s father being a former college All-American and NFL veteran made this connection a good one. Add in his dad originally being from Berrien Springs, Michigan and Taylor being a 3.9 student in the class room, Michigan was a perfect fit for everyone.
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 245lbs
- Hometown (School): Bradenton, FL (Braden River)
- Notable Offers: Florida, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oregon, Wisconsin
- Rankings: Rivals (3*, #24 SDE) – 247Sports (3*, #33 SDE) – ESPN (3*, #65 DE)
- Composite Ranking: Three star, #616 overall, #24 SDE, #101 in Florida
As for the Rest of the Class
Upshaw is the 16th overall commitment in the class, the 2nd defensive line commitment and the third commitment from the state of Florida. But he won’t be the last defensive lineman in this class as Michigan is in good-to-great shape with DL Tyler Friday, DE Eyabi Anoma, DE Jayson Oweh, DT Michael Thompson and DT Rick Sandidge all top targets for the staff. As for Florida, OT Nicholas Petit-Frere and DB Josh Jobe are UM’s best chances though both are going to be tough pulls.
Photo Credit: YourObserver.com