Numerical Roster Countdown 2012: Day 29, Lee Hightower

Less than a month to go! Unless, of course, that month is February. Stupid February.

We've got 29 days until kickoff...so today we'll be highlighting #29 on the Boise State roster—Lee Hightower

#29, Lee Hightower, Sophomore, DB

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Stats

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 193 lbs.

High School: Loyola High School, Inglewood, CA

How'd he get to The Blue™?

Hightower was a surprising late addition to the Broncos' 2011 recruiting class after he de-committed from Pennsylvania and proved the old adage "You can always use another cornerback". Hightower was a two-year letter winner at Loyola and was named second-team All-Serra League as a senior after recording 40 tackles, 18 pass break-ups, 2 forced fumbles and an interception. Hightower's senior campaign also earned him a slot on the Daily News All-Star team. As a junior, Hightower recorded 50 tackles, 12 pass break-ups and 4 forced fumbles. Scout.com only rated Hightower a 2-star recruit, but a look at his list of suitors tells a different story—he received offers from Washington, Air Force, San Diego State, and San José State.

Nickname

"Hightower"

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This is what he's known as at the Academy.

Look-a-like

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Weird Harold

Career highlights

Played in 8 games for the Broncos in 2011 and started at corner for final 4. Registered 7 tackles against SDSU. Made All-Serra League 2nd team as a senior. Daily News All-Star. Four year letter winner in track and field, finishing as league runner-up as a junior and senior.

2012 prospectus

A quick jaunt back to last year's Hightower piece reveals something slightly embarrassing—I'm not good at making predictions; something evidenced by the following blurb and possible improper use of a semi-colon in this preceding sentence:

I'm so sure that Hightower will redshirt this year, I'm making him my "Lock of the Week".

Er...do over?

Given the healthy state of the cornerback depth chart at the beginning of 2011 and the maybe the fact that, as a late signee, we knew less about Hightower than the other recruits...I felt it was a safe bet to assume that Hightower would be redshirting. Silly Drew...the only guys that are really "safe bets" to redshirt are offensive lineman. After injuries started to mount in the secondary and Hightower impressed in practice, the decision was made to burn his redshirt in game 6 of the 2011 campaign—a blowout of Colorado State. Hightower made his presence known immediately—delivering a jarring hit against a hapless Ram, and never looked back. Hightower would play in the remaining 8 games on the Broncos' schedule and produce at least 4 or 5 more jaw-dropping hits...more than we'd seen from any other single player on the Bronco roster, I dare say...and plenty more than you expect from a true freshman playing primarily cornerback. Hightower's freshman campaign was so good (25 tackles—2 for loss, 1 INT and 4 PBUs) that many consider him to be an absolute lock to take over George Iloka's vacated free safety spot. Of course, as you've seen above, "locks" can sometimes go awry...but let's face it...Hightower is going to be our starting free safety this year. He's just way too good to be a backup to Gavins and Taylor...he's a guy you want on the field at all times. We've needed a punisher in the secondary since Jeron Johnson left, and I think Hightower can be that guy. He's a fearless tackler, and true big-hitter with a nose for the ball. His 4 PBUs last year were impressive, and I think are just the tip of the iceberg (he had 30 combined in his junior and senior seasons). It's probably foolish to guarantee anything in this day and age, but I'd come as close to that as possible in naming Hightower our starting free safety...I think he may be one of our top tacklers this year too, and the punishings? Oh, they're coming.

Completely made up fact

Hightower hit a player so hard last season that the two swapped personalities "Freaky Friday" style.

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