Bradenton, Fla., defensive end Taylor Upshaw released his top ten as Clemson, Pitt, Ole Miss, Oregon, NC State, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Louisville, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. Upshaw already has a strong tie to Clemson through his brother, who is a walk-on with the Tigers. He is, of course, strongly interested in the Tigers, but he wants to evaluate all the opportunities now in front of him before making a decision.
“They are one of my favorite schools, that’s why they are in my top ten,” Upshaw said. “I’ve visited them multiple times and loved what I saw. I’m just narrowing down my choices. It’s going to be a tight one and Clemson is going to have a really good chance. They won the national championship, they have one of the best defenses in the country, they produce NFL players, they have a construction management program that I’m really interested in, so those are all things that I’m attracted to.”
Defensive line coach Todd Bates and defensive coordinator Brent Venables are recruiting Upshaw for the Tigers and like his pass rushing skills which he exhibited last season, his first playing football, by registering six sacks.
“They love my upside with me playing only a year of football and doing the things I’ve done,” Upshaw said. “They love my length, my range and they see me playing as a defensive end in their system. My specialty is pass rushing. We ran a 3-4 but now we’re going to a four man front, so sack production should go up.”
Upshaw said from what he’s seen of Clemson’s defense, he should be a good fit.
“They run the 3-4 and the 4-3 and I feel like they were able to eat last year on defense. I remember Coach Venables telling me they had one of the most tackles for losses in the country. That alone is attractive.”
Upshaw said is plan is to visit the schools on his top 10 list he has not visited. He said he will be visiting Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Kentucky, Pitt, Oregon, Tennessee and NC State. He said it’s a big possibility he will graduate early but he’s not going to rush into his decision.
Upshaw, by the way, is a teammate of USC running back commitment Deshaun Fenwick.
▪ Running back Lyn-J Dixon of Butler, Ga., cut his list down to a top 12. Clemson, which has not offered, is on the list while USC, which had offered, is not. The others on the list are Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Louisville, Texas, Notre Dame and Auburn.
▪ Clemson made the top ten with tight end Mustapha Muhammad of Missouri City, TX. The Tigers are joined by Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and Southern Cal.
▪ Byrnes wide receiver Demarcus Gregory will announce his decision Sunday afternoon around 5 p.m. at his home in Duncan. he is down to Ole Miss, Tennessee, NC State and Florida.
▪ Indiana and Virginia Tech are the latest offers for Greenwood wide receiver Sam Pinckney. He also has USC, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Appalachian State and Georgia State. Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia and Clemson have been by the school.
LSU is due in Thursday and Michigan State also is expected to check on him. Pinckney, who had USC as one of his favorites, said the Gamecocks no longer are recruiting him. He said Florida State, LSU and Virginia Tech are the three recruiting him the hardest and he really likes Florida State and LSU. He calls Florida State his favorite. Jay Graham is recruiting him for the Seminoles.
▪ Linebacker Channing Tindall of Spring Valley was offered by Texas A&M and athlete RJ Roderick of Cane Bay was offered by North Carolina.
▪ Ben Lippen quarterback Trad Beatty picked up offers from James Madison and Georgia State.
▪ Defensive back Khris Pam of Blythewood and Georgia Military College is hearing a lot from Colorado and is hopeful of an offer this summer. He's also hearing from Northern Illinois, South Florida, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, UNLV, Florida and Georgia.