Dont'a Hightower was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round (25th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. SEASONAL REVIEWS2012 (14/13, 2/2)
- Earned the starting linebacker job out of training camp.
- Finished with four tackles and a key third-quarter fumble recovery on the Patriots’ goal line to preserve the shutout in the win vs. Miami (12/30).
- Compiled seven tackles and a key third-down sack in the fourth quarter of the win at Jacksonville (12/23).
- Tallied a career-high 10 tackles and defensed one pass vs. San Francisco (12/16).
- Made seven tackles in overtime win vs. N.Y. Jets (10/21) including one sack for seven yards.
- Was inactive due to injury at Seattle (10/14) and vs. Denver (10/7).
- Started and made two tackles including 1 sack for 0 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury at Buffalo (9/30).
- Started at linebacker in his first NFL game and returned a fumble caused by a Chandler Jones strip-sack deep in Tennessee territory six yards for a touchdown in the season-opening win at Tennessee (9/9). Also made five tackles including one for a loss.
- Was one of two true freshmen to start for the Crimson Tide in 2008 and earned Freshman All-American honors, as he finished fourth on the team with 64 tackles (26 solos) with 2.5 stops for loss, a pair of fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
- Granted a medical redshirt in 2009 after being limited to just four games due to a knee injury.
- Hightower started 42-of-44 games at Alabama – 26 at weak-side linebacker and 16 at middle linebacker.
- Recorded 234 tackles (101 solos), including five sacks for minus 30 yards, 21.0 stops for losses of 67 yards and 25 quarterback pressures. Also had a pair of forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, seven pass deflections, a 29-yard interception return and a blocked kick.
- A finalist for the Chuck Bednarik, Butkus and Lombardi Awards, Hightower was a consensus All-American and unanimous All-SEC first-team selection in 2011.
- General Studies major.
- Born Qualin Dont’a Hightower on March 12, 1990.