November 4, 2007

Hightower loves UA visit, decision coming

Lewisburg (TN) inside linebacker Don'ta Hightower has been among the South's top defensive prospects in the class of 2008 and one of the top targets for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The four-star prospect took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa to see Tide take on LSU and the experience made a big impression on the 6-foot-3, 248-pound defender.

"It was the first time I've been to Alabama for a game this year and it was unbelievable. I drove up early Saturday and I could feel the excitement as we got near the stadium. The whole campus was just going nuts. There were people everywhere and I knew that it was special," Hightower said. "The fans were everywhere and they were all screaming. The intensity was incredible especially inside the stadium. It's hard to explain really but when I walked in there and saw all the crimson and white everywhere I knew this is what I wanted in a college. It's everything I was looking for in a college football program.

"I can't say enough about the fans and how the crowd never gave up on that team. I know they didn't get the win but the fans supported them the whole time. It was a very special place to be."

Hightower took particular notice of the Alabama defense during the game, which created big plays all night and held the No. 3 LSU Tigers in check for much of the game.

"Alabama's defense is perfect for me as a player. I watched how they use their linebackers and realize that I could play there whether it's inside or outside linebacker or rush end on passing downs. They have a bunch of big guys running around and making plays and that is how I want to play," Hightower said. "Coach Saban and Coach Steele talked to me and told me how they wanted to use me. They also said I could come in and if I work hard have a big impact as a freshman. They said they need more linebackers and that I could be a special player for them. I love the direction they have the program going and when you heard two legends like Coach Saban and Coach Steele tell you they want you that bad it makes you feel special."

Following the visit, Hightower said he feels close to making a final decision with the Crimson Tide leading for the 19th ranked inside linebacker in the nation.

"I'm down to Alabama and Vanderbilt. That's it for me. Alabama has been my favorite since they offered and really before that but I can't ignore Vanderbilt and their education. I plan to visit Vandy for the Kentucky game and hopefully have a decision soon after that," Hightower said. "I will say that this weekend made a huge impression on me and went a long way for Alabama. I've never seen anything like that."

Hightower is the No. 7 overall prospect in the state of Tennessee and sports a 4.7 forty. As a junior, Hightower finished with 556 yards and six touchdowns with another 253 yards receiving with four more scores through the air playing fullback, tight end, defensive end and linebacker.

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