Category Archives: Dont’a Hightower

Hightower shines for Pats

Former Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower gained a mention in Boston Globe reporter Greg A. Bedard’s rundown of the New England Patriots’ first practice Thursday afternoon.

“Really like what I see out of Hightower. They’re taking their time with him, but you get the sense that he’ll ascend quickly,” Bedard wrote.

Hightower, a first-round draft choice this past spring, played both inside and outside linebacker.

Tide first-round picks are all signed

The Cleveland Browns signed Alabama running back Trent Richardson late Monday night to a four-year deal worth about $20.4 to $20.5 million, depending on which published report you want to rely upon.

Richardson was the third pick in this past spring’s draft.

Alabama’s three other first-round picks already have signed. Safety Mark Barron was taken with the seventh pick by Tampa Bay, and the Bucs signed him for four years and $14.5 million. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was the 17th pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, and he has a four-year, $8.6 million deal.

The New England Patriots took linebacker Dont’a Hightower with the 25th pick and have signed him to a four-year, $7.7 million contract.

If anyone thinks that’s too much money to pay someone to play football, consider this: Actress Kristen Stewart has a contract to receive $12.5 million for each of the “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” movies. That’s $12.5 million for Part 1 and $12.5 million more for Part 2, which is coming out soon.

 

VIDEO: Linebackers, DBs at practice

I did a little experimenting with the new video editor feature on YouTube to condense some of the practice tapes posted on the blog. Let me know if you like it better this way.

First, here’s the linebackers working with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and linebackers coach Sal Sunseri.

Next, Nick Saban works with mostly defensive backs.

Finally, here’s the result of some more toying around with video editing. I tried to line it up with the music as best as possible.

Effort lacking in practice?

This is just a teaser to read more tomorrow, but after talking to three of the veteran players from the team this afternoon, nobody sounds happy with the effort shown in practice recently.

Greg McElroy, Dont’a Hightower and Preston Dial spoke about a passionate plea made by the vets to the rest of the team about stepping it up. It’s a typical situation experienced every year, McElroy said. But Hightower said this wasn’t something the 2009 Crimson Tide struggled with in the preseason.

Remember Nick Saban talked about his displeasure with the attitude he’s seeing. He’s referred to the “poor-me” feeling and the “whoa is me” sentiment after Saturday’s scrimmage.

Again, more about this will appear in Tuesday’s paper. Tune in for practice video later today.

On a side note, Athens (Ala.) product Rob Ezell got a shout out on the USA Today college football blog. Read it here. And watch a few videos of his dynamic personality on display here, here and here.

VIDEO: Pre-scrimmage drills on tape!

We didn’t get long to watch the pre-scrimmage routine this afternoon, just enough time to capture these low-quality home videos for you.

So, without delay, let’s start with the receivers.

Tide back on cover of Sports Illustrated

This time, Mark Ingram got a break and the defense got all the love on the latest Alabama-themed cover of Sports Illustrated. That’s four since November if I’m counting properly (Here’s 1, 2 and 3). Ingram appeared on the cover of 1, 3 and the SI for Kids from August seen over to the side.

As you can see, Dont’a Hightower, Mark Barron and Marcell Dareus appear next to the rankings that puts the Crimson Tide on top again. (Don’t let Nick Saban see that part).

All these covers may create an issue in the Alabama football complex. There is a wall next to the media room with all the Alabama magazine covers (mostly SI) blown up and framed. Before last season, there was plenty of room, but before the one above hit stands, the frames reached all the way down the hall. Where to put this one?

Fan Day videos, Part I (defense)

Linebackers Dont’a Hightower (30), Nico Johnson (35), Tana Patrick (2), Chris Jordan (36), Jalston Fowler (45).

Defensive backs B.J. Scott (1), Phelon Jones (9), Mark Barron (4).

Finally, Nick Saban coaches loudly when mistakes are made.

VIDEO: More linebackers practice Thursday morning

Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart works with Dont’a Hightower and the rest of the Crimson Tide linebackers Thursday morning.

More videos of this evening’s practice for newcomers will go live later tonight.

VIDEO: SEC Media Day 1, Part II

Here is the second batch of videos from the first day of SEC Media Days in Hoover.

We resume with the flashiest dresser of the day, Dont’a Hightower.

Come back for all the media days coverage possible

This is just a friendly reminder to bookmark The Bama Blog so you don’t forget to come back for all the SEC Media Days coverage you can handle.

There will be a video tour of the whole compound at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, behind the scenes snap shots and all the latest news and interesting soundbites from the SEC’s biggest names.

A chuck of the coverage will land on the blog’s companion Twitter site (http://twitter.com/DailyBamaBlog) so sign up to follow all the updates there. Here is the complete schedule of this week’s event (all times Central):

Wednesday
Alabama (1-3:50 p.m.)
Coach Nick Saban, LB Dont’a Hightower, RB Mark Ingram, QB Greg McElroy
Mississippi State (1-3:50 p.m.)
Coach Dan Mullen, DB Charles Mitchell, QB Chris Relf, OL Quentin Saulsberry
Florida (3:20-6 p.m.)
Coach Urban Meyer, DB Ahmad Black, OL Mike Pouncy, DE Justin Trattou
Kentucky (3:20-6 p.m.)
Coach Joker Phillips, WR Randall Cobb, DE DeQuin Evans, RB Derrick Locke

Thursday
Arkansas (8:30-11:10 a.m.)
Coach Bobby Petrino, DE Jake Bequette, QB Ryan Mallett, TE D.J. Williams
Georgia (8:30-11:10 a.m.)
Coach Mark Richt, P Drew Butler, FB Shaun Chapas, WR A.J. Green
South Carolina (10:50-1:30 p.m.)
Coach Steve Spurrier, FB Patrick DiMarco , DE Cliff Matthews, LB Shaq Wilson
Vanderbilt (10:50-1:30 p.m.)
Coach Robbie Caldwell, LB Chris Marve, RB Warren Norman, LB John Stokes

Friday
Auburn (8:30-11:10 a.m.)
Coach Gene Chizik, LB Josh Bynes, DB Aairon Savage, OL Lee Ziemba
Tennessee (8:30-11:10 a.m.)
Coach Derek Dooley, LB Nick Reveiz, TE Luke Stocker, DE Chris Walker
LSU (10:50-1:30 p.m.)
Coach Les Miles, QB Jordan Jefferson, DB Peterson, LB Kelvin Sheppard
Ole Miss (10:50-1:30 p.m.)
Coach Houston Nutt, DE Kentrell Lockett, DT Jerrell Powe, OL Bradley Sowell

SEC Media Days lineup set

The SEC just released the final schedule for next week’s football media days. Now we know which three Alabama players will get the party started next Wednesday afternoon.

The new three-player invitation list includes quarterback Greg McElroy, running back Mark Ingram and linebacker Dont’a Hightower. (I’m taking bets on how many Heisman questions Ingram fields, leaning towards 95 percent of those asked).

From a reporter’s perspective, those three make up an all-star team of interview subjects. McElroy is easily one of the most insightful athletes I’ve met. He’ll be great, and I’m sure my colleagues agree with my sentiment. Hightower is right up there with the QB as is Ingram who has great patience when answering the aforementioned bevy of Heisman questions.

The circus in Hoover begins next Wednesday and runs through Friday. Stick with The Bama Blog for all the coverage you can stomach.

Here is the rest of the player lineup:

WEDNESDAY

Mississippi State:
DB Charles Mitchell
QB Chris Relf
OL Quentin Saulsberry

Florida:
SAF Ahmad Black
OL Mike Pouncey
DE Justin Trattou

Kentucky:
QB Randall Cobb
DE DeQuin Evans
RB Derrick Locke

THURSDAY

Arkansas:
DE Jake Bequette
QB Ryan Mallett
TE D.J. Williams

Georgia:
P Drew Butler
FB Shaun Chapus
WR A.J. Green

South Carolina:
FB Patrick DiMarco
DE Cliff Matthews
LB Shaq Wilson

Vanderbilt:
LB Chris Marve
RB Warren Norman
LB John Stokes

FRIDAY

Auburn:
LB Josh Bynes
DB Aairon Savage
OL Lee Ziemba

Tennessee:
LB Nick Reveiz
TE Luke Stocker
DE Chris Walker

LSU:
QB Jordan Jefferson
DB Patrick Peterson
LB Kelvin Sheppard

Ole Miss:
DE Kentrell Lockett
DT Jerrell Powe
OL Bradley Sowell

On a side note, the Yankee Universe suffered another big loss this morning when George Steinbrenner passed away from a massive heart attack. It’s a sad day for sports.

VIDEO: Linebackers at Monday's practice

Here you go, a two-part series on the Crimson Tide linebackers from Monday’s practice:

VIDEO: Dont'a Hightower practices

After missing most of the 2009 season with a major knee injury, Dont’a Hightower was back on the field Monday. I wish the quality of the video was better, but reporters were allowed no further than where I recorded this.

Update from Monday's spring practice

The media viewing period of the Crimson Tide’s second spring practice just wrapped up. Here are the highlights:

  • Starting center William Vlachos still had on the walking boot and rode the exercise bike instead of practicing with his teammates.
  • Linebacker Dont’a Hightower was back on the field working with the linebackers after suffering that terrible knee injury last fall. They weren’t doing full speed drills, but it looked like Hightower’s knee isn’t back to full strength just yet. Check back later for video of Hightower practicing.
  • There is no depth chart.
  • Star recruit Phillip Sims looked comfortable throwing with the quarterbacks in their usual drills. Again, it’s impossible to take too much out of these drills, but he appears to have a solid arm. Again, come back later for video of Sims and the rest of the quarterbacks throwing in today’s practice.
  • Stay tuned for more.

Hightower tore everything in knee

The mystery of Dont’a Hightower’s exact injury was solved Wednesday evening. Coach Nick Saban never specified the exact diagnosis that Hightower told reporters yesterday included tearing is ACL, MCL and meniscus.

The injury was suffered in the first half of the Arkansas game when a cut block hit him square on the left knee.

Read more about the injury and the aftermath Friday.

On a side note, Lane Kiffin made quite an impression on rapper Lil Wayne. Read this to see how and why.