Courtney Upshaw (DE), Alabama
6-2 265 lbs.
52 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 FF, INT, TD
Mid-to-late first round
Upshaw is a physically imposing player that reads and reacts well in space, and doesn't take many false steps trying to find the ball. Has a good motor and can consistently take on blocks, disengage and make his way toward the football in both the running and passing game. (National Football Post)
He's tight in the hips and isn't going to hold up at the next level in space or man consistently. Upshaw can be a bit inconsistent getting off the snap on time and doesn't do a great job changing directions when trying to shed a blocker. He displays only an average burst when in pursuit of the ball. (National Football Post)
Fit for the Bears:
One major area the Bears are looking to improve on is their pass rush opposite Julius Peppers. At this stage in his career, scouts are unsure if Upshaw will be a defensive end in a 4-3 system or an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Selecting Upshaw would be a risk because of that, but the potential reward could pay big dividends.
Horizon League basketball returns to CSN on Sunday as UIC travels to Valparaiso. This game tips at 2:00 p.m. live on CSN.
The Flames (11-8, 4-2) have won three straight games and have played pretty good ball after the loss of Dikembe Dixson to a torn ACL. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate, is playing well along with former St. Rita product Dominique Matthews.
Valparaiso (15-4, 5-1) is hoping to maintain its conference lead behind senior All-American candidate Alec Peters. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 23.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on the season.
The Crusaders won the first time these two teams played at UIC on Dec. 30 as Tevonn Walker had 23 points.
CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday.
The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.
Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.
Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.
The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season.
Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.