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NFL Combine 2012: Draft Prep First Hand With Alabama's Courtney Upshaw

Sports Illustrated is running an interesting new column in the last couple of weeks, written by Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw. In it, he describes the process from a top prospect's point of view and because several outlets and scouts have linked Upshaw to the Seahawks, I thought I'd point it out here. Upshaw has working out at Athletes' Performance Institute in Phoenix with several other draft prospects, including his college teammate Dont'a Hightower, Memphis defensive end Dontari Poe and Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks.

From Upshaw:

We're like a big family out at API. All the players are broken up into positional groups and the groups work out together every morning. My group has been doing a variety of things, but we're all putting in a lot of work on some of the drills we'll see at the Combine.

I'm also going to individual physical therapy sessions twice a day -- something the other players aren't doing. Don't worry, I'm not hurt, they only have me in there to get me up to speed with the guys who were out here while I was at the Senior Bowl a couple of weeks ago. I should be caught up in no time.

Another thing I'm trying to do while in Arizona is drop a few pounds. API has all of us players on nutritional regimens -- some to gain weight, some to lose, others to maintain -- with my individual plan geared to shedding just a little bit of weight to increase my speed. I feel like I'm already pretty quick, but getting faster definitely can't hurt.
While I do want to pick up a step or two before the combine, I won't sacrifice any of my strength to do so. I feel like the best part of my game is my physicality. I love the contact. Getting my hands inside on a blocker and knocking him back, blasting into the backfield and stuffing the run and sacking the quarterback are all things I enjoy and all things that I feel I'm good at.

Check out the rest of the piece at Sports Illustrated here, and check out part one, "Looking back at Senior Bowl week," here.