The Florida Gators picked up a new commit on Saturday when defensive end Taylor Upshaw (6-5, 240, Bradenton, FL. Braden River) committed while on campus.
Upshaw picked up a Gators offer a few weeks ago and said he knew he wanted to commit because of several reasons.
“It was just a perfect fit for me,” Upshaw said on why he decided to commit on Saturday. “I like the coaching staff, the school is close to my house, has my major, great academics and they play in the SEC, so it doesn’t get much better than that.”
The defensive end told head coach Jim McElwain about his commitment on Saturday and the news was well received by McElwain.
“He was very excited. He said ‘welcome to the family’,” he said on what Coach McElwain said when he committed. “He got another big kid from Florida, so he was extremely happy.”
Defensive line coach Chris Rumph wasn’t shocked about the news on Saturday because he had received that news from Upshaw earlier.
“I told Coach Rumph the week before, so he already knew,” Upshaw said on Rumph. “ He was also very excited to get to coach me.”
Upshaw committed while on campus on Saturday and the visit really put Florida over the top.
“The academic facilities are amazing, the campus is really nice,” he said on what he liked about the visit on Saturday. “ The football facilities are really nice and the coaching staff is great. I had no complaints.”
Rumph has already spoken to Upshaw about how the Gators plan on playing the defensive lineman once he gets on campus.
“They plan to use me as a defensive end,” Upshaw said on how the Gators plan to use him. “ But they also said it depends on how big I get, so if I continue to grow and get bigger then I could eventually be a defensive tackle, but as of now I’m a defensive end.”
McElwain and Rumph were on the same page with the message to Upshaw but the head coach made sure the defensive lineman knew he was a wanted man in Gainesville.
“I guess he just reiterated what Coach Rumph said about how they’re gonna use me,” he said on what McElwain was telling him during the visit. “He was just telling me that he wanted me to play for him.”
A lot of prospects now days commit but still go and see other places but Upshaw says he doesn’t plan on doing that.
“No, I probably won’t be taking any visits. This is where I want to be,” Upshaw said on if he will take more visits.
Instead, Upshaw says he wants to help the Gators class of 2018 get better with two prospects he plans to speak to about Florida.
“Well, first I wanna get Malcolm Lamar from Armwood,” he said on who he’s recruiting. “He really likes the school, so him and then Judge Culpepper, because I know they both really like the Gators, but I want them to commit as soon as they can.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Upshaw has a high upside with good bloodlines and is someone that could contribute at several different spots on the defensive line depending on how much he grows.