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“He is really sharp, really knows football,” Harbaugh said. “He does all the things that you might not expect a bigger guy to do. He does those things well. He gets into coverage well. He’s just a quick learner. He’s off to a good start.”

With Suggs out when the season starts, Upshaw said he has to continue to play within the realm of his game.

“You can’t replace Suggs,” Upshaw said. “Everybody has to come in as a team. I know the veteran leadership on this team is not going to allow slack on my part or anybody else. Everybody needs to step up.”

On April 27, 2011, Upshaw was hiding in his apartment’s bathroom, in fear of the Tuscaloosa tornado. On April 27, 2012, Upshaw was selected by the Ravens. Though he’s packed his bags and moved for the time being, he hasn’t forgotten about the victims, many of whom still are affected today. Whenever he gets downtime in the foreseeable future, Upshaw plans raise more money in his home state.

“As soon as I’m able to, we’re going to start it back up,” he said.