Upshur has tie to Irish

Notre Dame has checked on four-star junior tight end Naseir Upshur. The Philadelphia standout has a tie to the Fighting Irish.

As one of Philadelphia football’s best, Naseir Upshur has already worked out with some of the area’s top high school and college players. That led Upshur to develop a friendship with Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller, another product from the City of Brotherly Love.

With Notre Dame showing interest in the 6-foot-3 ½, 233-pounder from Imhotep Institute Charter School, the two have discussed what it’s like to play football at Notre Dame.

“He didn’t really tell me anything about Notre Dame but I was paring down my list and everything so I was telling him if Notre Dame offered or USC I’d have an opportunity to bump somebody out of my top 15,” Upshur said. “He said they use their tight ends a lot and it would be a good choice for me.”

Upshur talked with Irish tight ends coach Scott Booker on Tuesday.

“I called the coach and he was telling me how much he liked my tape and he said he was going to come visit me soon,” Upshur said. “That was the first time I talked to him so I was really excited because I’ve been trying to get in contact with them for a minute.”

The interest from the Irish has Upshur contemplating a visit to South Bend but he likely won’t attend Notre Dame’s junior day event on Jan. 31.

“I really want to get out to see Notre Dame but I want to go up there by myself. I don’t want to be there on a junior day,” he said. “Not to be picky or anything but I want a chance to experience everything by myself. I don’t want them showing someone else attention while I’m there. I want all their full attention and learn everything by myself. Just like a school, schools where there are 50 people in one class and there are 12 people in one class. I want to be where there are 12 people. I want to learn.”

Upshur has already visited South Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Temple and Penn State, among others, and expects to see Miami and Ohio State in the near future.

Ohio State, Miami, Arizona State, Temple, Michigan State, Auburn and South Carolina are among his early favorites.

Most schools are recruiting Upshur to play tight end but a few have mentioned the possibility of him playing defense.

“I heard that UCLA was recruiting me for defense. Cincinnati and Missouri offered me for defense,” he said. “My senior year, I’m going to take defense a little bit more seriously. I’m a natural at defense. I played D-end my whole life but I only play defense in high school when they need me, like when we play a big game I’ll go to defense.”

Upshur recorded 12 sacks and scored three defensive touchdowns in half a season on defense and also caught 22 passes for 610 yards and eight touchdowns.

He takes pride in the fact that he’s a complete tight end.

“There are not a lot of tight ends out there right now that can block and catch but I really take blocking serious,” he said. “I work on my technique before anything. When I’m at practice I don’t go catch balls first or go running routes and everything. I’m working on my technique and blocking. I’m a tight end that can do it all, catch the ball, run downfield, make a move, run somebody over and slam them. I’m an all-around tight end.”

Scout.com ranks Upshur as the No. 10 tight end in the recruiting class of 2016.


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