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...]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets 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.

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

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.