Here is the official release courtesy of UA Media Relations:
Alabama junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower (Lewisburg, Tenn.) was recognized for his strong play on the defensive side of the ball in the 37-6 win over rival Tennessee. Hightower was named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week and the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by both organizations Monday.
Hightower had an overpowering game on Saturday, recording seven tackles, one sack and three quarterback hurries plus being credited with breaking up two passes. He also tallied his first career interception, adding a 29-yard return.
Alabama held the Volunteers to just 92 yards rushing, the sixth consecutive game in which the defense has held its opponent under 100 rushing yards. The Tide held the Volunteers scoreless in the second half and allowed just 41 total yards (0 first downs) in the final 30 minutes.
Alabama’s defense is ranked number one in the country in both scoring, allowing under seven points per game, and total yardage, allowing a mere 180 yards per game.
Hightower is following in the footsteps of recent Crimson Tide greats DeMeco Ryans (the Lott IMPACT Trophy winner in 2005, now with the Houston Texans) and Rolando McClain (a Lott finalist in 2009 and now with the Oakland Raiders).
In recognition of Hightower’s performance, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, sponsors of the Lott IMPACT Trophy, will make a $1,000 donation to the general scholarship fund at Alabama.
An interview with Hightower can be heard at halftime of Saturday’s Purdue-Michigan game on Sports USA Radio Network. The IMPACT Player of the Week is also featured on FOX college football games this weekend.