Reggie Upshaw could have been swayed by the numerous college football coaches trying to convince the Baylor three-sport standout that his skills would be best displayed on the gridiron.
Instead, Upshaw chose to go with his heart — and basketball.
The Red Raiders senior committed Sunday afternoon to continue his favorite sport at Middle Tennessee State University. Upshaw was in Murfreesboro for the weekend and fell in love with the surroundings.
He is the third guy who played for an area school last season to commit to an NCAA Division I basketball program thus far, but he's the first who will don a local jersey in the winter. Former Cleveland standout D.J. Bowles committed to Central Florida in March before decommitting in August and transferring to a prep school in Tampa, while former McCallie standout Terrance O'Donohue, who now attends Norcross (Ga.) High School, committed to the College of Charleston recently.
"It's close enough to Chattanooga where I can get back if I need to," Upshaw said about MTSU. "I was up there for my official visit, and in hanging out with the players, I really liked how they interacted with each other and with the coaches.
"All of the students are back on campus because school's about to start, and after seeing the entire atmosphere, I knew I wanted to be there."
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Upshaw averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per contest last season as the Red Raiders advanced to the Division II-AA state semifinals. MTSU's football program and Vanderbilt also had offered him scholarships as a tight end. He had six touchdowns and more than 400 yards receiving last season for the Baylor football team, which repeated as a state finalist.
"[The decision] was kind of tough, but I kind of knew towards the beginning of the season and after the jamboree that I was going to go basketball," Upshaw said. "This decision makes it a lot easier for me to focus on the season ahead. There won't be as much pressure."
"I'm excited for him. The best part is that he can get his education paid for," Baylor basketball coach Austin Clark said. "The other stuff is gravy on a biscuit.
"It's tremendous that he's going to get an opportunity. He's such a good young man, and I'm happy that he can put all this behind him and just focus on his senior year."