Dont’a Hightower would not have any teaching expertise, but Friday’s information surrounding the retired linebacker should not come as a shock to soccer followers.
Shortly after the information broke, NFL insider Jeff Howe of The Athletic wrote on social media that the 33-year-old was “born to be a coach.”
Like his former teammate-turned-boss Jerod Mayo, Hightower was a first-round choice of the New England Patriots. Mayo was picked tenth total in 2008 and Hightower was chosen twenty fifth in 2012.
The pair of two-time Professional Bowlers have been teammates for 4 seasons from 2012-15, shoring up the Pats linebackers corps and profitable a championship collectively in Tremendous Bowl XLIX in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks. Mayo missed the title recreation because of a torn patellar tendon and retired following the 2015 marketing campaign, whereas Hightower completed the win with 5 tackles, together with a vital takedown of operating again Marshawn Lynch on the 1-yard line within the waning seconds of the fourth quarter.
Mayo was named the franchise’s new head coach in January after serving as Invoice Belichick’s inside linebackers coach since 2019.
The Alabama product earned his Professional Bowl nods following the 2016 and 2019 seasons. The previous additionally included a victory in Tremendous Bowl LI in opposition to the Atlanta Falcons the place Hightower helped spur the historic 28-3 comeback with a strip sack and compelled fumble within the fourth quarter.
He retired following the 2021 season and can now get an opportunity to reunite with Mayo and likewise Patriots star linebacker Matthew Judon. The four-time Professional Bowler joined Hightower in New England in 2021 and has arguably been the crew’s greatest defensive participant over the previous three years.