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Upshaw high on Rex, Jets

COURTNEY UPSHAW Linebacker, Alabama Nick Saban?s linebackers at

COURTNEY UPSHAW
Linebacker, Alabama
Nick Saban’s linebackers at Alabama are as big as defensive linemen and move really fast. Upshaw is 6-2 and 272 pounds. The scary part is that Upshaw is projected as an outside linebacker in the pros. Upshaw’s size means he will be extremely effective stopping the run. Upshaw also showed the ability to play fast at Alabama and he was explosive with his tackles. Newsday's Rod Boone recently said on the NFL Network that Upshaw could end up being a solid pass rusher as well. Upshaw had an 88 grade at the Combine. Whichever team takes Upshaw is getting a player with excellent size and ability.
(Credit: AP)

Courtney Upshaw isn’t mad that Rex Ryan opted to go to South Carolina instead of scouting him at Alabama.

In fact, Upshaw’s one of the Jets coach’s biggest fan.

“I love him,” the Alabama outside linebacker said at the NFL’s Play 60 event Wednesday at the Chelsea Waterside Park. “Just the guy he is. ...I just love that type of defense that he runs. I’m a football player. And the way he comes out basically every time like, ‘I want to guarantee a championship.’ I kind of like that cause he’s confident in his team and I’d like to play for a coach like that.”

Upshaw met the Jets at the combine but didn’t visit the team since then.

“I kind of know how it goes,” the down-to-earth 22-year-old said. “Some teams wanna meet and some teams don’t. Some teams want to take more action in trying to get to know you more, on-the-field, off-the-field-issues, stuff like that. You never know how it goes. Thursday we’ll find out if I’m a Jet or not.”

Upshaw also wasn’t bothered by the fact that Ryan chose to skip his Pro Day in favor of a trip to South Carolina to see DE Melvin Ingram.

“You can’t be at every place,” said Upshaw, who ran a 4.74 40-yard-dash. “I’m not mad that he didn’t show up. I can’t be mad. I just got to go perform to the best of my ability. And I’m sure he got the news on my Pro Day. Hey, it don’t matter. I’m sure he watched. I’m sure he saw me run.”

He also wasn’t fazed by rumors that he’ll fall toward the bottom of the first-round picks.

“I really don’t pay attention to it,” he said. “I’m really not nervous. You don’t know how it’s going to fall tomorrow. I could be a first-round pick, could be a second, third-round. Hopefully somebody will pick me up and I feel real confident somebody will. I’m just ready to get back to the football part. Whoever picks me up is going to have a great player.”

“Coming in I was probably rated one of the top 10 prospects, or whatever. But that’s the thing. Coming into this whole thing, I’m humble. You don’t know how it’s going to go on Thursday. I really want to go first round, I’m going to put it like that. But if I don’t, then the sure thing, I’ll be OK with whoever picks me up.”

While some experts are questioning where Upshaw fits on defense, the Alabama senior confidently said he can play anywhere that allows him to make contact.

“I love to get after the quarterback,” he said. “I love getting sacks. I feel I can play both positions and play well and be productive. So either or -- if it’s a 4-3 team, I’ll play defensive end; 3-4 I’ll play outside ‘backer. But I love to get after the quarterback. I love to make big plays.” 

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