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Hogs Lose LB Highsmith For Spring

New Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes needed veteran leaders to help implement his new system this spring.  One returning starter who was being counted on to fill the leadership void left by a number of departed players was linebacker Alonzo Highsmith. 

So much for that.

UA announced yesterday that Highsmith suffered “a partially torn tendon in his pectoral muscle” during a team bench-press test on Tuesday night, the eve of spring drills.  He underwent surgery yesterday and will miss all of spring practice.

“We’re going to miss him,” Petrino said yesterday.  “It was big for him to be here, but guys are going to have to step up and really provide leadership.  That’s what I was waiting to see was him take over that (linebacking) group.  Be the leader.  Make all the calls.  Run it.  Now he’s just going to have to make sure that he does it this summer and early in the all… Obviously it does hurt us.  But we’ve just got to move on and get somebody else ready to go.”

Highsmith is the team’s leading returning tackler.  Braylon Mitchell — a sophomore with seven career tackles — took Highsmith’s spot in Haynes’ defense yesterday.

(And, yes, fellow old-timers like myself, Highsmith is indeed the son of the former Miami Hurricane and NFL running back of the same name whose playing career stretched from 1982 through ’92.  Ouch.)

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SEC Headlines – 8/8/11 Part Four

1.  Juco transfer linebacker Alonzo Highsmith is already running with Arkansas’ first-team defense.

2.  This writer says running back Knile Davis “looks much quicker,” which if great news for the Hogs, bad news for the rest of the SEC.

3.  Bobby Petrino is ready to start mixing his newcomers with his veterans in practice.

4.  In case you missed it, LSU’s first full-squad practice was “sloppy as sin” over the weekend.

5.  Rehabbing a knee injury taught Tiger O-lineman Sam Montgomery discipline.

6.  The Ole Miss defense is showing signs of improvement in practice.  (For Tyrone Nix’s sake, it had better.)

7.  Despite signs — literal signs — to the contrary, Houston Nutt says his team’s defense is the 4-3, not a 4-2-5.

8.  Rick Stansbury was happy with the effort his newcomers gave in an exhibition game in Amsterdam this weekend.

9.  Dan Mullen is shaking up his team’s practice location.

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Highsmith Commits to Arkansas

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas football picked up its 24th commitment of the 2011 class late last night from Phoenix College linebacker Alonzo Highsmith (6-2, 215).

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Highsmith is the son of former University of Miami and NFL running back Alonzo Highsmith. He is the fourth commitment from the state of Arizona in this recruiting class for the Razorbacks.

Verbal commitments are non-binding. National Signing Day for football is in February.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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