LB Alex Highsmith is a player that not many people were aware of heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. Highsmith’s journey to the NFL has a much different look than most collegiate athletes.
LB Alex Highsmith’s Early Struggles at Charlotte:
Alex Highsmith walked on to the Charlotte 49ers mid-major program in 2015. In his first three years (2016, 2017, 2018), Highsmith was nothing spectacular at the linebacker position. In 32 games, he had registered just 6 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss. Despite the frustrations, Highsmith stuck it out and stayed disciplined leading into his senior year. It would’ve been easy for Highsmith to hang it up and call it quits…but he didn’t.
Highsmith Breaks Through:
Highsmith was rewarded for his persistence at Charlotte. In his senior year, he had 15 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in 13 games played. In addition, he led Charlotte to its first-ever bowl game. Highsmith led the CUSA in sacks and in tackles for loss his senior year. Highsmith was awarded Preseason all-Conference USA (coaches) … Preseason all-C-USA First Team selection by Athlon Sports, Phil Steele and Street & Smiths.
Pittsburgh thought highly of Highsmith heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. The Steelers picked Highsmith with their 3rd round pick. Highsmith went from being a walk-on to being selected by one of the most storied franchises in the NFL Draft. This is not only a fascinating story, but a lesson for college athletes who may be questioning their current situation.
Absolutely dirty spin move Alex Highsmith had here on the Chargers' RT for the sack. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/xW9NE4RELy
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 24, 2021
Alex Highsmith is a template for college athletes who feel as if they need to transfer for a better opportunity. Highsmith put his nose to the grindstone and believed in his work ethic. Nothing can replace an unbeatable work ethic, and Highsmith realized this in time to have a historic senior season. Lastly, Highsmith’s improbable journey…from walk-on at Charlotte, to starting LB for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is a an inspiration to KEEP GOING!
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