Robert Upshaw (Fresno, Calif./San Joaquin Memorial), No. 60 overall, committed and signed – sort of – with Kansas State when the Wildcats were under the direction of Frank Martin. As of Monday, Martin’s going to South Carolina and Upshaw, well, it’s too early to tell just where he’ll be next year.
Rather than lock himself into Kansas State by signing a letter of intent – Upshaw picked the Wildcats over Louisville, Fresno State and Georgetown – the center signed scholarship agreement papers (which are non-binding) rather than a national letter of intent.
In the wake of Martin's departure for South Carolina, that decision has turned out to be significant.
“The family decided that with him going so far that would be the best thing for us to do,” Ceylon Sherman, Upshaw’s mother said. “I don’t think he’s in any predicament because we didn’t do a national letter of intent. The family hasn’t even talked about it yet. We’re still a little in shock about everything.”
Unlike other prospects who inked national letters of intent, which lock them into the schools, Upshaw doesn’t need to be released by the Wildcats. If he chooses, he can move on from the situation and find another program without having to go through the process of requesting his release. Basically, Robert Upshaw can go to school wherever he wants and he doesn’t need permission to do so. In high school recruiting terms, he’s a free agent.
However, Upshaw’s family didn’t see the change at Kansas State coming and they sure aren’t ready to discuss options. “We just haven’t thought that about it,” Sherman said. “I’m probably going to give Rob a while to relax. He’s supposed to be having fun, we did all this already.”
Upshaw methodically went through the process. He brought in schools for home visits, then cut his list and then again trimmed the list to schools he wanted to see on visits. He didn’t sign the letter of intent, but he did his homework. Turns out, he did great homework and by not signing he has complete control of his situation.
I asked his mother if her son would follow Martin to South Carolina. At this point, there was no way she could answer. This is a family that was all in on Martin at Kansas State and now they’re in the initial shock of the news. When I spoke to them they hadn’t yet heard from Martin but had been informed by a “reliable source.”
Sherman said she’s going to give it a few days and try and make sense of what happened. College coaches won’t wait. Every program – I said EVERY program – that needs a big man will pursue him. He’s smart, strong, talented and physically ready to play next year.
Once the Upshaw family clears the way for schools to get involved – if they do at all – it’ll be a free for all.