The 6' 2", 245 pounder has been working on one thing this summer.
"My conditioning is the biggest thing. We run the no huddle offense in the spread, so you have to be in good condition to keep up. We are running a mile and half after every practice, then I do ten 110's to make sure I am in top condition for the fall."
Hightower's sophomore year he stepped in for an injured running back and rushed for over 1, 000 in four games of action. This past season he moved over to tight end and caught 18 passes for 253 yards and 4 TD's. On defense, where he lines up at outside linebacker and defensive end, he collected 98 tackles and forced a team high 7 fumbles.
College recruiters have certainly taken notice in this versatile athlete from Marshall County as Hightower has collected an impressive array of offers.
"Tennessee, Vandy, MTSU, Georgia Tech, and Auburn offered me this summer. Ole Miss and Alabama offered me in the Spring."
Who was his last offer?
"Georgia Tech. I just got that one a few days ago."
Where does this put the Yellow Jackets?
"I was looking at Georgia Tech a little before they offered me. I am not going to put them above anybody else yet, but I do plan on going there for an official visit."
Any leaders yet?
sir. They are all pretty much equal."
Which colleges are coming after Hightower the hardest?
"Alabama, Tennessee, Vandy, and Auburn really sticks out right now."
What stands out about Alabama?
"I went down there for a visit, and they have a new staff. They have Nick Saban. That is a big catch right there. I like everything about their campus. If I were to go there, my first few years, I would not get lost around campus because their residence center, academic complex, and sports facility are all right together."
"I have not visited Tennessee, but they put a lot of people in the NFL, and I think I have a good chance to go to the league if I go there. I also like the position they are recruiting me to play, H-Back. I just like playing that more than defense."
Which position are the other colleges recruiting Dont'a to play?
"Everybody else but Georgia Tech, Vandy, Tennessee, and Kentucky are recruiting me for DE or ILB. The other schools like me at TE or H-Back."
What stands out about Vandy?
"They have a great academic reputation. It is one of the best in the nation, and that is what I am looking for, how good of an education can I get?
What are Auburn's positives?
"I like Auburn a lot because they win a lot, and I want to go to a winning college. Their academics are not the best, reputation wise, but the have one of the highest student/athlete graduation percentages since 2001."
Ole Miss had been prominent with Hightower but things have changed as of late.
"It is not so much that they have dropped; it's just that the other colleges are basically showing me more attention than Ole Miss."
Time frame for a decision?
"I think pretty much by the end of the season. I will try to put the whole recruiting thing behind me once the season starts so I can concentrate on my team. After the season is over, I will get back into it. If I make the Army All-American game, I will make my decision public at half-time."