No. 4 Reggie Upshaw
Baylor — receiver
• Schools recruiting: Offers from Vanderbilt, MTSU and Louisiana-Lafayette; getting mail from most of the SEC plus Michigan State and Miami.
• Why do you wear No. 7?
"I wear No. 7 because my birthday is on April 7th."
There are two debates raging within Baylor's Reggie Upshaw, No. 4 on the Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen.
He still is torn between football and basketball in college, and he's undecided on where he wants to go. He'd thought about going to a mid-major school and playing both but then shelved that idea as more and more of the big-time college programs began to contact him.
The 6-foot-7, 210-pound receiver split his spring and summer. In April, May and July he was totally wrapped up in AAU basketball. He turned to the weight room with an eye on football in June and then, capping a frenetic month of basketball, flew in on a red-eye from Las Vegas and his final AAU tournament in early August to begin his final Baylor football camp.
The basketball list is mostly mid-majors, while he's getting football mail from most of the Southeastern Conference schools plus Michigan State and Miami although he attended no football camps this summer.
"That might be a little drawback, but the coaches are sending out film," Upshaw said.
And the coaches are getting feedback.
"What I'm hearing, and this is from schools that are recruiting him, is that he would be an ideal hybrid tight end or H-back," Baylor football coach Phil Massey said. "Not only can he block, but he will be a big target inside and he can create mismatches with linebackers or safeties that have to cover him."
That's one reason Upshaw likes being 6-7.
"I think it's a blessing. I never worried about being short," he said with a laugh. "My biggest advantage is the height and wingspan against smaller corners."
Massey plans to take full advantage of Upshaw's extra length.
"I realize that with his ability a lot of how defenses play us will be predicated by where he lines up. He'll play some wide receiver, but he'll also play some tight end to create mismatches," the coach said. "His approach to us moving him around has been awesome."
While Upshaw has played only offense -- and most of that on the perimeter -- he no longer will be solely an offensive weapon, and his newest role should enhance his attractiveness for college football recruiters.
"He'll play some tackle as a pass-rusher on passing downs," Massey said, "and his willingness to do that and his mentality there will allow schools to see that he can play physical when he has to."
When asked if he was a physical player, Upshaw responded, "I don't think anybody loves to get hit, but it isn't like I won't get back up and go again."
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...