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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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