Originally written on Ravens Football Machine  |  Last updated 11/4/14


Nice showing throughout OTA's by Courtney Upshaw based upon all reports coming in...

The 6-2, 265 lb. top draft pick of the Ravens is being asked to learn fast, as he remains the next best answer to starting as a pass-rushing linebacker in the Ravens 3-4 system while Terrell Suggs is on the mend from a torn Achilles injury.


Upshaw is in his rookie season out of Alabama, but he's under pressure to make an immediate impact on D...


Upshaw in a drill from the last week of OTA practice (mandatory minicamp 2012)...

Garrett Downing did a nice piece at BaltimoreRavens.com on how the veterans on the defensive squad were impressed by Upshaw's overall readiness to contribute immediately.

All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis and fellow defensive star Terrell Suggs both said they like what they see in the rookie.

"I just love his motor," Lewis said. "He's a kid that just loves football."

Suggs wasn't able to practice because of his Achilles tendon injury, but he did attend minicamp and participated in all of the meetings. After looking at Upshaw on film, Suggs was impressed.

"He's ahead of where I was when I came in my rookie year," Suggs said.

That's high praise considering Suggs' rookie season. He led the team with the franchise rookie record 12 sacks, the second most of any season in his nine-year career.

Upshaw has been working at Suggs' rush linebacker spot and the SAM linebacker position during OTAs and minicamp. He is currently a favorite to win a starting job at one of those positions, and Suggs believes the rookie will be up to the challenge.

"I've got 100 percent confidence in the kid," Suggs said.

Lewis also believes that Upshaw has a bright future, especially after seeing him in action.

"The way he approaches the game, his speed towards the game, and the way he flies around to the football, you really appreciate watching somebody like him," Lewis said.

As Upshaw went through the week and watched the way Lewis approaches his craft, he was struck by Lewis' commitment to conditioning and taking care of his body.

"He looks good," Upshaw said. "His body, his physique and everything. He takes care of his body. It's motivating to keep your body healthy for your longevity in this league."

And after a week of working together, Upshaw said that it's now becoming more of a reality that Ray Lewis is his new teammate.

"I'm over the 'Wow Factor,'" Upshaw said. "There's still a little awe here and there. He interacts with everybody like a normal, regular person. It's been all fun."

Upshaw admitted he was a little star-struck when he stood across from the legendary linebacker in the huddle. "At first it was like, 'Wow, this is Ray Lewis,'" said Upshaw, who was seven years old when Lewis entered the NFL. "Me and my friends, we wanted to play alongside him or be like Ray."

[Thanks to Garrett Downing for inside story and quotes...]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Female Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

Notre Dame wears 'Father Ted' patches during spring game

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

WATCH: A-Rod belts two homers in win over Rays

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.