Maryland may not sign a tight end in the 2015 class, but UMD already has a prime 2016 target and has made inroads with this national recruit. Rising junior Naseir Upshur (Imhotep/Philadelphia, Pa.) claims about 20 verbal offers, but the Terps have made quite an impression and are on his mind.
“I was at Maryland for their camp in June, and I loved it. I absolutely loved it,” said the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Upshur, who holds scholarships from the likes of UMD, Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Virginia, Wake Forest, Illinois and others. “It was a great experience out there, and I was really excited when they offered me. It was great facilities, and I really enjoyed talking to all the coaches, who were excited to have me there. I worked with Coach [John] Dunn, and he’s a really good teacher and I learned a lot from him. He recruits me, too, and he’s a really good guy.”
About a month after Upshur visited College Park, Md., for the first time, his teammate, receiver D.J, Moore, committed to UMD. Since then Moore has been in Upshur’s ear about the Terps.
“D.J. he wants me to go to school with him. He was like, ‘This is a great place, come on down here,’” said Upshur, who noted that the Big Ten move, the Under Armour connection and academics all make UMD an attractive option. “And yes, that does help Maryland’s chances with me. I’m looking at them more now, and it’s one of my top schools. What D.J. told me, it really sounds like a great school. Hopefully I can make it out there again this summer for a visit with my family.”
While Upshur has the Terps on his brain, there are numerous national programs that have impressed him as well. He most recently trekked to South Carolina and Alabama, and the former pulled the trigger on an offer.
“South Carolina showed me a lot of love. Coach [Steve] Spurrier, he loves me and he offered me right there [on campus],” Upshur said. “South Carolina is really standing out right now because they really want me there. It’s great facilities, great coaches, and they need a tight end, because they have two tight ends right now but they’ll be graduating by the time I’d get there. My friend, David Williams, is there too.
“Alabama was very nice too and it’s an awesome program. They’re saying they’re going to be watching me and they’ll consider offering. I’m getting a lot of good interest from them, so we’ll see if they offer.”
Next up for Upshur is a trip to N.C. State July 20 and Penn State soon after that. He previously took in Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers and Temple, in addition to UMD, Bama and South Carolina.
“Arizona State is a school that’s standing out. I have a friend that goes there, and I had a real good time out there and they talk to me a lot. It’s a really nice place and it’s beautiful,” Upshur said. “Michigan is another school that’s up there. Me and my dad went there, and we both loved it. They need a tight end there, and they really want me. And Michigan State, it was the same way. They showed us a lot of love, and they need a player like me.”
Upshur went on to laud Temple because it’s nearby and has been on him for a good while now, while Rutgers has been pushing as well. He said RU has had an offer out for over a year, and he has them under firm consideration since the Scarlet Knights extended a verbal so early.
But the Imhotep tight end admitted it’s still very early in the process and he has no early favorites. He said there’s plenty of time for other programs to get involved, while he still needs to visit multiple campuses to procure a “feel” for each place pursuing him.
“I mainly just want to get an opportunity to play my freshman year, and I also want to find the school I feel most comfortable at. Those are the two main things I’m looking for,” Upshur said. “I’m thinking I’ll be able to find that school sometime next summer or after that, but I’m not sure yet. If me and my family visit a school and really feel comfortable there, well, I could just commit right then. We’ll see how it plays out.”
As far as his high school season is concerned, Upshur would love to lead Imhotep to a state title. Personally, he’s eyeing up about 35 catches for 600 yards and a handful of touchdowns, which isn’t bad considering Imhotep’s other receiver options and run-first mentality.
“The main thing I always concentrate on is blocking. Coaches always compliment me on my blocking,” said Upshur, who runs a 4.69 40-yard dash. “And I catch the ball very well and I can stretch the field too. I’m dedicated to my craft, and I’m eager to get better and better. I’m working on my route running and speed right now, because I want to be one of the best coming out at my position.”
Upshur Has Terps Among Top Suitors
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