Tiger Rag Profile: Ali Highsmith

Junior linebacker Ali Highsmith, a native of Miami (FL), looks to be one of the defensive leaders for LSU in 2006 after finishing second on the team in tackles last season. The national media took notice of Highsmith's accomplishments as he recently was named to the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes to the top defensive player in America.

Junior linebacker Ali Highsmith, a native of Miami (FL), looks to be one of the defensive leaders for LSU in 2006 after finishing second on the team in tackles last season.

 

The national media took notice of Highsmith's accomplishments as he recently was named to the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes to the top defensive player in America.

 

As a prep standout, Highsmith was one of the most coveted players in the south, coming out of Central High School in Miami that has produced a handful of college stars.

 

Heavily recruited by LSU, Miami, Auburn, Oklahoma, Ohio State, N.C. State and Rutgers, among others, he recorded 90 tackles and two interceptions as a junior to earn himself a place in the recruiting spotlight.

 

He followed that performance with an even stronger senior showing, where he compiled 90 tackles, seven sacks, nine forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries (three going for touchdowns) during the 2002 season.

 

Originally signing with the University of Miami but never enrolling in the school, Highsmith made the move to LSU and had an immediate impact for the Tigers, playing in all 12 games with two starts during his freshman season in 2004. As a freshman, he compiled 21 tackles, one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery, with a season best six-tackle performance in a start against Mississippi State.

 

Last season, Highsmith started in nine contests, seeing action in all 13 games. He finished the year with 75 tackles, four sacks and a team-best three forced fumbles. He also had one fumble recovery, which he returned 22 yards for a touchdown against Vanderbilt and was named the SEC defensive player of the week for his performance in the team's 21-17 victory over Florida, where he compiled eight tackles and two sacks.

 

This season, Highsmith is projected to be LSU's top linebacker, and is slated as the starter at Will Linebacker spot.

 

Dearman's Perspective on Highsmith:

 

Through his prep career and his first two seasons at LSU, Highsmith has shown his ability to get to and stop the ball carrier, and has established himself as a playmaker with a knack for forcing fumbles and making key stops.

 

In 2006, he will be the anchor of the linebacker corps, serving as the leader of a talented but inexperienced group. We look for Ali to make a strong a bid for post-season honors and to be one of the top linebackers in the conference in 2007.


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