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Former Tide LB, Super Bowl champion Courtney Upshaw joins UAB football as a volunteer coach

Courtney Upshaw celebrates sack of Tom Brady in 2017 Super Bowl matchup between Falcons and Patriots
Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports

Of the many lessons he provides, the biggest advice Nick Saban has given his players at Alabama is there is a life after football.

As much as we enjoy these athletes catching touchdown passes, tossing for scores, making plays on defense and the celebrations that follow, it is about impacting the next person at the end of the day. In the case of Courtney Upshaw, this is what the former Crimson Tide linebacker is doing. He was an unbelievable athlete at Eufala (Ala.) High School and became one of the greatest outside linebackers of the Saban era. Once a four-star recruit in 2008, Upshaw captained the 2011 defense to being college football’s elite group in all five major categories.

Alabama allowed just 8.2 points and 183.6 yards per game, while Upshaw led the unit in tackles for loss (18), sacks (9.5) and quarterback hurries (10) en route to a BCS national title.

He claimed two national championship rings (2009, 2011), one Southeastern Conference title ring (2009) and was a first-team All-American in 2011.

After getting selected in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, Upshaw immediately assisted the franchise to a Super Bowl championship that year.

He played four years with the Ravens and spent two seasons in Atlanta with the Falcons, where he appeared in another Super Bowl during the 2016 campaign. He put six strong years in the National Football League and while he loves the game, Upshaw is starting to view things from a coaching perspective.

According to a post from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Twitter, Upshaw has joined Bill Clark’s staff as a volunteer coach.

His strengths as a pass rush technician will greatly benefit the Blazers.

UAB is coming off a 9-5 season in 2019 and its defense totaled 44 sacks.

RELATED: WATCH: Tua Tagovailoa back on a football practice field with the Miami Dolphins

Adding Upshaw to the mix could give the program the best defense in Conference USA.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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