Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports 2018 defensive end Taylor Upshaw committed to the Florida Gators on Saturday, doing so with a tweet sent just minutes before Jim McElwain’s #ChompChomp for him
Upshaw is a three-star prospect per the 247Sports Composite, and doesn’t have a rating from all four major recruiting services. As such, his commitment, Florida’s eighth in the 2018 cycle, doesn’t really move the needle for the Gators’ 2018 recruiting class — still just No. 28 nationally, and lodged between No. 27 Mississippi State and No. 29 Kansas, if also still remarkably far in front of No. 50 Georgia and No. 60 Alabama.
But the numbers that pop out for Upshaw are simpler ones: 6’5”, 240 pounds. And at that size, Upshaw has a frame that can carry — is carrying, really — significant weight that doesn’t prevent his highlights from being most remarkable for his quickness in the open field. Upshaw is significantly larger than most of his foes in those clips, but still slices through the line with a remarkable burst, despite usually coming out of a four-point stance.
And those highlights advise viewers that the 2016 season was Upshaw’s first playing football, suggesting that the Bradenton Braden River standout still has much to learn.
Florida defensive line coach Chris Rumph has done a lot with players like that in his short time in Gainesville. In Upshaw, he might be getting a fine piece of clay to mold for years to come.