[A.J.'s dad was Alonzo Highsmith, who also played for UM and played for five years in the NFL. He was a high ranked player when he was going into college football and chose UM over Notre Dame in 1982.]
A: It's a big game. It's going to be a lot of fun for us. They're definitely a big rival. I think one of the biggest things is that my dad is going to be there, so he'll be able to watch us play. This is definitely the first game he's going to see me as a starter, so this is going to be a lot of fun for me.
Q: What do you see in Notre Dame's offense?
A: They're a very good team. They spread out the ball a lot, and they give the ball to a lot of guys. They have guys that are fast and can get around the perimeter. They have good athletes and a lot of good players, so they're going to give us some problems.
Q: Is this one of those games where the coaches don't have to say much to get you ready for the game?
A: They prepare us every week. They prepare the same every week. They prepare us as hard as they can. They haven't done anything different. It's going to be a big game for us, and we know what we have to do to get the job done.
Q: What's your dad's take on the Notre Dame game?
A: He's excited. I know he's ready for the game. I only talked to him a little bit, but I'll talk to him later in the week. He's definitely excited and for me as well.
Q: You guys got the win last week, but you gave a lot of yards on defense. What are the coaches working on to try to curve that this week?
A: We know that a lot of the time we beat ourselves, but NC State was a good team, and they gave us some problems. I think a lot of the things we can fix inside of our locker room, but they're all fixable.