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Name: Alex Highsmith 
College: Charlotte     Number: 5
Height: 6-3   Weight: 248
Position: DE  Pos2: OLB
Class/Draft Year: rSr/2020

40 Low: 4.64
   40 Time: 4.70
  40 High: 4.77
Projected Round: 3-4  Stock:   High: 3rd/DE or OLB  Low: 5th



Combine Invite: Yes
Height: 6031
Weight: 248

Zybek PD3X AKA "Official"
40 Yard Dash (ET):
 4.70
40 Yard Dash (HH): 4.68
20 Yard (ET): 2.75
20 Yard (HH): 2.64
10 Yard (ET): 1.68
10 Yard (HH): 1.60
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 33
Broad Jump: 10'05"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.31
3-Cone Drill: 7.32
Projected 4.73/-.03/No Bench-Choice

Dates: 03/20/20
Hand: 09 1/8  Arm: 33 1/8
Wingspan: 76 7/8

Height: 6031
Weight: 248
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

 

 



 Data Scout Notes: 2019: 1stC...BurlsworthSemifinalist...P2ndDS/PBednarik...2019: P1stC...1st team All-CUSA w/60 TT, 17.5 TFL, 3 SCK, PBU, 8 QBH, 2 FF in 12 gms in '18. 33 TT, 5 TFL, 2 SCK, FR in 11 gms in '17. Backup w/17 TT, 2 TFL, SCK, PBU in 1 st, 12 gms in '16. Redshirted in '15.

 Alex Highsmith, Charlotte, Player News

  05/07/20 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  You could hear it in Will Healy's voice. It was something the Charlotte 49ers head football coach couldn't hide and didn't want to hide. It's because when talking about Alex Highsmith, Healy just can't help but let it be known how proud he is of the newest Steelers linebacker. "I am ridiculously proud," said Healy. "He's a guy I have grown really close to over the last year. I was fortunate enough to inherit him and coach him. It couldn't happen to a better person. "The amazing part about Alex is not just the way he is on the field, but his leadership and how he handled his business and mentorship is so vital for our program well after he is there. He is a tremendous person. He has it figured out. He is very mature about how he handles himself. He is such a good teammate and person. His work ethic is second to none.

"To see him enjoy this type of success is really good for the guys who are in our program to see what a professional player looks like. It's really gratifying for me as a coach to see a guy who buys into it as much as he does, and I am so happy he was rewarded this way." Highsmith has come a long way since he first went to Charlotte, showing up as a walk-on and not even participating in freshman camp because he wasn't on the roster. To go from that to a third-round draft pick at a smaller school is a huge jump. "There is some God-given ability he has so the first thing for him was someone to give him a chance," said Healy. "He bought into the process of what it's going to take from where he was to where he has to go. He caught the hunger and fire of what it takes to be special and do it week in and week out. It's a process, but when you do things right like he does, and do it consistently, you are bound to have results. That, with the God-given ability, is why he turned out to be so special." - Charlotte Observer


(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Observer
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  04/25/20 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  With their third round pick the Steelers selected Alex Highsmith, an outside linebacker who is a pass rush specialist. Highsmith played at Charlotte where he had 15 sacks his senior season, finishing his career with a school-record 20 sacks. He also had 22 tackles for a loss in 2019. Highsmith was an Associated Press All-American, the first one from Charlotte. Highsmith said he spoke with Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin a few weeks ago and they expressed an interest in him and told him the role they would like him to play as a young player, which would be outside linebacker after playing defensive end at Charlotte the last two years.

"They talked to me about being a special teams guy this year and being the guy backing up (Bud) Dupree and T.J. (Watt)," said Highsmith. "I am just so excited to learn from those two guys, two of the best pass rushers in this league. I am ready to soak up everything like a sponge, learn so much and do everything I can to help the team get back to the Super Bowl. "I am ready for the challenge. I am excited for the transition. I am going to do whatever I can, be the hardest worker on the team. I can't wait to get to work." The Steelers scouted Highsmith in the fall and Colbert said the first time he saw him in person was at practice at the East-West Shrine Game where he stood out. - Charlotte Observer


(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Observer
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  04/18/20 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  Alex Highsmith's career at Charlotte started with him as a walk-on. He leaves the program as the all time leader in sacks. To be that good, you have to put in a lot of hard work and Highsmith's story is proof he put in that work. "In high school I played middle backer (linebacker) and I was like 6 foot 1 and 205 pounds so I was super skinny," said Highsmith. No big time college football program wants a middle linebacker at that size so if Highsmith was going to play division 1 football, he was going to have to sell himself. Even to the Charlotte 49ers who had only been playing football for a year.

Alex played high school ball at Ashley High School in Wilmington. A game against rival Hoggard High School in 2014 changed his life. "Their coach's name was Scott Braswell," said Highsmith. "His son Scotty Braswell Jr. was a GA (grad assistant) at Charlotte at the time. What I did was I asked coach Braswell 'is there any way you can pass my film on to your son and the Charlotte staff.' He did and they watched it and they liked me." And that opened the door for Alex to walk-on at Charlotte. Not to get a scholarship but just to walk-on. Alex earned that scholarship after his redshirt freshman season and the rest is history. By the end of his career, Highsmith had racked up 20 sacks which is a program record, he was first team All-Conference USA (2 straight seasons) and he was named a 3rd team All-American as a senior. - Charlotte Observer


(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Observer
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  02/14/20 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  2020 NFL COMBINE INVITE: Alex Highsmith, DE, Charlotte,...This past season he broke records for sacks in a game (4.5), season (14.0) and career (20.0). He was named first team all-C-USA as both a junior and senior, the first 49er to earn first team all-league honors two times. Listed on the Chuck Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List as a candidate for the nation's top defensive player award, Highsmith was also a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the top collegiate player that began his career as a walk-on. He ranked fourth in the nation in sacks (14.0) and fifth in tackles for loss (21.5) as a senior. He ranks fifth all-time for the 49ers in career tackles (185) and second in career TFL (46.0). - Charlotte Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Football
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  12/16/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  2019 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DE Alex Highsmith, R-Sr., Charlotte,...Highsmith, the 49ers undisputed sack king, ranks second in the nation in sacks and fourth in TFL while leading C-USA in both categories. He set school records for sacks in a game (4.5), season (14.0) and career (20.0) and tackles for loss (TFL) in a game (5.0) and season (21.5) during the 2019 campaign. He finished the year with 68 tackles, a team-high 8 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. He was named to the Pro Football Focus C-USA Team of the Week five times and was also a PFF first team all-C-USA selection. According to PFF, he recorded the second-best PFF pass-rushing grade (91.9) and overall grade (90.0) among qualifying C-USA edge defenders. In the regular-season final at Old Dominion, Highsmith had a career-high 12 tackles with school records for sacks (4.5) and TFL (5.0) to be named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week. - Charlotte Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Football
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  12/08/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  The 49ers ended the season on a five-game winning streak after a 2-5 start to earn the first bowl invitation since the program restarted in 2013 and moved to FBS two years later. Behind LaMay, the 49ers have C-USA's best rushing offense, averaging 213.3 yards. - AP College Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: AP College Football
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  12/02/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  DEC 2 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Charlotte's undisputed sack king had a career-game in Charlotte's fifth straight win, a 38-22 road victory at Old Dominion. Senior DE Alex Highsmith had a school-record 4.5 sacks, a school-record 5.0 tackles for loss and a career-best 12 total tackles. His big game on Saturday landed him second in the FBS in sacks on the season with a school-record 14.0 and fourth in the nation in TFL's with a school-record 21.5. Causing havoc in the backfield, Highsmith added a QB hurry, a pass break up by swatting a pass attempt at the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble. The Wilmington, North Carolina, native now owns the 49ers school-records for sacks in a game, season and career. - Conference USA Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  12/01/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  Charlotte and Buffalo are headed to the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 20. The teams made the announcement on Sunday, one week before most other schools find out their bowl destination. The Bahamas Bowl matchup is typically announced earlier because of the extra time that teams need to make arrangements for the international trip. Someone will be winning a bowl game for the first time. Charlotte is making its first bowl appearance and Buffalo is 0-3 in its previous postseason trips. Both teams are taking 7-5 records into the game. It will also be the first matchup between the schools. Most other bowl matchups will be revealed on Dec. 8. There are 40 bowl games for 78 FBS teams, including the College Football Playoff. - AP College Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/24/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  In its fifth season in the FBS, Charlotte is bowl eligible for the first time. The 49ers secured that prize with a 24-13 win over Marshall on Saturday. They were one of two Conference USA teams that earned their sixth victories of the season in noteworthy fashion this weekend. Florida International did so as well with a 30-24 win over Miami. Arizona State became bowl eligible with a 31-28 win over Oregon, and California did so as well by beating Stanford 24-20 in the Big Game, snapping a nine-game losing streak in that series. There are 72 teams that are bowl eligible so far, and a handful of others are still on the bubble. - AP College football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: AP College football
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  11/15/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  2019 BURLSWORTH TROPHY SEMIFINALIST: Alex Highsmith, Charlotte, Defensive End, SR - Highsmith ranks ninth nationally with 8.5 sacks this season. He has recorded 51 tackles, including 30 solo stops for the 49ers. Highsmith, who holds the school’s career record for sacks with 14.5, is on the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, given annually to the top defensive player in college football. He was a preseason All-Conference USA pick by league coaches after being named first team all-conference in 2018. - Burlsworth Trophy

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Burlsworth Trophy
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  09/24/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  Alex Highsmith is following up a breakout 2017 when he had 17.5 tackles for loss with an even better senior season. The former walk-on has five sacks among his 6 ½ tackles for loss in four games for the 49ers. - AP College Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: AP College Football
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  08/17/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  2019 PRESEASON PHIL STEELE/DRAFT SCOUT FBS G5 SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN: Alex Highsmith, Charlotte, Sr.,...Highsmith earned First Team all-Conference USA honors in 2018 after breaking the 49ers single-season school record with 17.5 tackles for loss (TFL) on his way to a career-high 60 tackles. He added 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a team-high eight quarterback hurries. - Charlotte Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Football
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  08/04/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  A 4-2-5 system under first-year Charlotte 49ers (5-7 overall last season; 4-4 Conference USA) coach Will Healy allows the senior defensive end to focus on pass rush, improving his sack statistics. Highsmith, whose three sacks last season were tied for second on the team, broke Charlotte's single-season record of 17.5 tackles for loss, and finished with 60 total tackles and a team-high eight quarterback hurries. Highsmith is one of three 49ers to earn preseason all-conference recognition along with senior running back Benny LeMay and sophomore kicker Jonathan Cruz, who was voted special teams player of the year. "I can tell you, they're gonna go up for sure," Highsmith said. "Coach Healy did a great job in hiring a great D-line coach in Marcus West. Coach West has been such a blessing to me and helping me improve my pass rush game. He's taught me so many moves, and so many little detail things that can help take my pass rush to the next level. Exciting to play a true defensive end this year, and really getting at the quarterback this year." Highsmith, who is from Wilmington, joined the program as a walk-on and eventually earned a scholarship in 2017. Count Healy among the impressed.

"What a great college football story," Healy said. "You're talking about a guy who walked on here, who now is preseason all-conference, has got some All-American type hype around him and he lives up to it. He is a self-made great football player that I know Marcus West has had a ton of fun coaching. I think he's dynamic. I think he rushes the passer really well. He's strong. He's physical. You hope your best players are also your best leaders, and he's definitely that." - Charlotte Observer


(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Observer
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  07/18/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  Apparently, media members from around Conference USA don't hold high hopes for the Charlotte 49ers as they picked them to finish last in the East Division during the 2019 season. Maybe that skepticism is warranted. But maybe not. Charlotte finished 5-7 last season (4-4 in league play) but has a new head coach in Will Healy, who is making the jump from the FCS. Besides, being an underdog is a status redshirt senior defensive end Alex Highsmith, a 2018 first-team All-CUSA selection, says he welcomes. "I came to Charlotte a walk-on. I've always embraced the underdog role," Highsmith said Thursday during the Conference USA Football Media Kickoff. "It just gives me more motivation and for the rest of the guys as well, more motivation to help us to be the best we can be and prove people wrong." - Charlotte Observer

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Observer
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  07/18/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  2019 PRESEASON BEDNARIK AWARD CANDIDATE: DE Alex Highsmith, Charlotte,...Highsmith earned First Team all-Conference USA honors in 2018 after breaking the 49ers single-season school record with 17.5 tackles for loss (TFL) on his way to a career-high 60 tackles. He added 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a team-high eight quarterback hurries. - Charlotte Football

(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Football
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  07/17/19 - DE Alex HighsmithrSr/2020, Charlotte, 6-3, 248 (DS#12 DE) + More +

  2019 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA (COACHES): DL Alex Highsmith, Sr., Charlotte,...Highsmith earned First Team all-Conference USA honors in 2018 after breaking the 49ers single-season school record with 17.5 tackles for loss (TFL) on his way to a career-high 60 tackles. He added 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a team-high eight quarterback hurries. Pro Football Focus (PFF) gave Highsmith a grade of 90.6 in run-defense, the highest in C-USA. His overall grade of 89.7 was second-highest in the league. He was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week following the 49ers 14-3 loss at Tennessee.

Highsmith had seven tackles and 4.0 TFLs as Charlotte held the SEC's Vols to season-lows of 192 yards of total offense and 20 yards rushing. PFF named Highsmith to its National Team of the Week and College Sports Madness named him the C-USA Player of the Week after he posted a career-high 10 tackles and tied the 49ers single-game record with 4.5 TFL in Charlotte's 27-24 win at defending C-USA Champion Florida Atlantic. - Charlotte Football


(DS#12 DE) rSr/2020 DE Alex HighsmithCharlotte
News Source: Charlotte Football
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