Alabama in the Pros

Former Alabama LB Dont’a Hightower continues to eat championships

Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

For any recruit that wonders why Alabama football is so important, Nick Saban will have to show the individual pictures of Dont’a Hightower.

Since his departure from the Crimson Tide in 2012, the native Tennessean continues to win championships.  

He was not healthy in New England’s run to the Super Bowl during the 2017 season; however, one year makes a huge difference. The former All-American was at full strength this time and made his presence felt at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday for Super Bowl 53. 

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In facing the Los Angeles Rams, a team with incredible offensive firepower, Hightower and Patriots defense shut down Sean McVay’s lethal attack.

The two-time BCS national champion from Alabama held Todd Gurley to just 35 yards rushing on 10 carries, while collecting two of New England’s four sacks of Jared Goff.

Prior to the Super Bowl, the Rams entered the game with the league’s No.2 total offense (421.1 ypg), No. 2 scoring offense (32.9 ppg) and fifth-best passing offense. However, Hightower and company limited Goff to a 50 percent completion rating (19 of 38 passing) and forced one interception in earning a 13-3 victory.   

He recorded a major sack of Falcons’ quarterback, Matt Ryan in Super Bowl 51 to help the Patriots get a 34-28 win and Hightower would put in two tackles – including two stops for loss, one pass breakup and three quarterback pressures to capture his third NFL championship.

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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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