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Courtney Upshaw Has The Golden Touch

Posted Feb 10, 2013

The rookie linebacker has won three championships in the past four years.


A "Roll Tide" call roared from the Ravens locker room in the Super Bowl XLVII celebration.

It was led by rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who's accustomed to winning the hardware by now.

Upshaw won two national titles in college at Alabama. Now he's won a Super Bowl in his rookie season in the NFL. Upshaw has the golden touch.

"That's all I do is win national championships," Upshaw said with a wide smile. "Super Bowls now."

Upshaw had a strong rookie season for Baltimore, starting nine games and making 60 tackles. The Ravens' top draft pick (second round) last year, became a strong edge run defender that packed some punch with big hits.

Upshaw showed that off in the Super Bowl when he hit running back LaMichael James in the second quarter.

Upshaw originally missed tackling James, but then hustled back to be part of the play. As James was trying to fight for extra yadage, Upshaw came in to lay a hit and punched the ball out the running back's hands.

Defensive end Arthur Jones recovered the fumble, flipping the momentum as the 49ers threatened to take a lead. Baltimore scored a touchdown on the resulting drive, grabbing a 14-3 lead. The fumble was a definite turning point.

"I just tried to get back and make a play," Upshaw said. "I had an opportunity to poke the ball out and it came out. I was trying to get a big hit and pop the ball out."

Upshaw finished the Super Bowl with five tackles, tied for the third most on the team. Another one of his tackles was for a loss. Fellow former Alabama player Terrence Cody, who won one national championship in college, finished with one tackle.

"You get some [Alabama] boys on your team, you're going to win something," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "Terrence Cody played in a national championship. Courtney Upshaw played in it last year and won it. They played in the Super Bowl this year and won it."

Suggs tossed some of the credit to General Manager Ozzie Newsome, another former Alabama star.

"That Ozzie Newsome, he sure knows how to pick them. I just thought he was being biased picking the Bama boys," Suggs said with a laugh.

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