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Listen to the growing confidence in his voice each week and it's clear Hightower is rising again.
TUSCALOOSA Countless strands of his tightly Adidas Boost Raw Pink braided hair have grown longer with each passing month.
Alabama's weak side linebacker had the speed for pass coverage, the ability to chase down a play and snuff it out.
The tips were there when Dont'a Hightower was blazing.
5, 2010. (The Birmingham News / Mark Almond)
That day, Hightower was taken out on a cut block during a 35 7 win over Arkansas. The result was a season ending knee injury a torn meniscus as well as the ACL and PCL, all in his left knee.
Smart) and coach (Nick Saban). They told me the last couple games I actually looked like I was the old me before I got hurt."
Hightower said his footwork was slow to start the first four games. He dismissed the notion of any mental obstacles, but admits he felt slow.
Judging from the beads of sweat that Adidas Climacool 1 Shock Purple
often drip down his face long after practice and a shower, Hightower's engine still pounds like thunder.
Hightower needed to let loose in the open field, and chasing down speedy Gators in a Adidas Boost Yzy
Hightower moved from the middle to weak side linebacker at midseason, and is third on the team with 67 tackles. His best statistical performance came in a 24 21 loss at LSU with a season high 10 tackles, one off his career best 11, also against the Tigers in 2008.
There was talk of an early leap to the NFL, and one day leaving Alabama as one of the Crimson Tide's best all time defensive players.
That was until Sept. 26, 2009.
Hightower destroyed those predictions by returning full speed for spring practice. And as the 2010 season moved into November, he began to unleash some of the intensity that shaped his reputation.
"It was very frustrating in the beginning of the year," Hightower said. "I thought I was 100 percent, but I went back and watched film, and I talked with coach (Kirby Adidas Boost Shoes Basketball
Add the burden of calling defensive plays, and his plate was full.
Some estimated his recovery might take a year.
"I feel like the Florida game is whenever everything kind of turned around," Hightower said. "I knew we were going up against a lot of speed. I was able to run around in practice, and I felt pretty good and I played pretty good. Ever since then, I feel like I've been playing a lot faster."
31 6 win over Florida on Oct. 2 provided the opportunity.
Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower on the rise again
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