By: Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports | June 12, 2017
Remember Regan Upshaw? The former Buccaneer, Jaguar, Raider, Redskin and Giant was a defensive tackle in the NFL for nearly a decade. He made his home in Florida following his first round selection by the Bucs, and his sons took after him by not only playing football, but filling similar roles to their old man.
Now Taylor Upshaw, his younger son, has committed to play for his home state Florida Gators. Upshaw’s older brother, Regan Upshaw Jr., is a walk-on linebacker at Clemson while Braden River product Taylor Upshaw expects to play defensive end in Gainesville.
Hometown Hero… I'm Staying Home 🐊🔵🔶 pic.twitter.com/AUPLYXFGsA
— Taylor Upshaw (@UpshawT80) June 10, 2017
Though Upshaw is rated as a three-star prospect, he comes with significant pedigree and his work ethic has helped him stamp his mark as a potential breakout player when he gets to Gainesville.
It’s clear that the investment the Florida coach staff made in chasing Upshaw made the critical difference in gaining his commitment.
“I already knew that they had everything I wanted: DI opportunity, coach (Chris) Rumph has produced a lot of NFL players, they have my major, construction management,” Upshaw told 247Sports’ Blake Alderman.
“I think coach Rumph did a great job. He knew I wanted to come here and he just welcomed me to the Gator family. Just (talked) how they’re going to use me on defense. We’re still building on it, still having a good time, just welcoming me to the family.”
It didn’t hurt that Florida is the closest major power program to Upshaw’s house in Bradenton, nor that Rumph’s track record producing NFL talent was further enhanced by having two Gators selected from his line in the recent NFL Draft.
Now he’ll get a legacy with an NFL family pedigree to work with, starting in 2018.