An NFL player for six seasons, Alonzo Highsmith enters his 17th year with the Green Bay Packers’ personnel department. He was promoted to senior personnel executive in May 2012 after 13 years on the Packers’ college scouting staff, where he maintained primary responsibility for the Southwest region.
First named as a college scout on Feb. 1, 1999, by then-Executive Vice President/General Manager Ron Wolf, Highsmith originally had entered the professional ranks as the No. 3 overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft by the then-Houston Oilers, behind only college teammate Vinny Testaverde (Tampa Bay) and Cornelius Bennett (Indianapolis).
The 50-year-old Highsmith began his pro career by playing three seasons in Houston (1987-89), starting 40 straight games with the Oilers. Following offseason knee surgery, he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys prior to the 1990 campaign.
Highsmith was with Dallas for 1½ seasons before being waived by the Cowboys on Oct. 4, 1991. Claimed by Tampa Bay, he spent the remainder of his pro career with the Buccaneers. Due to a series of knee injuries, he retired from the NFL at the end of the 1992 season.
Highsmith’s NFL totals included 65 games played, 283 rushing attempts for 1,195 yards (4.2 avg.) and seven touchdowns. He also made 42 receptions for 428 yards (10.2 avg.) and three TDs during the course of his pro career. After the conclusion of Highsmith’s NFL career in 1992, he turned his sights to boxing. As a professional boxer, he competed as a heavyweight across the country, compiling a 27-1-1 career record over a four-year period.
Earlier a four-time letterman (1983-86) for the University of Miami (Fla.), Highsmith was a member of the 1983 Hurricanes squad that captured the collegiate national championship with a 31-30 triumph over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. As a sophomore in 1984, he led Miami in rushing with 906 yards on 146 carries (6.2 avg.), and repeated that feat during his senior season, gaining 442 yards on 105 attempts (4.2 avg.). Highsmith graduated in 1987 with a degree in business administration.
Highsmith was the 1982 Florida high school Defensive Player of the Year as a linebacker at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, where he was a teammate of former Alabama head coach and current Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula. A three-time letterwinner for the school’s basketball team as a guard, Highsmith also competed in the 100- and 200-meter races in track for three years.
Highsmith was born Feb. 26, 1965, in Bartow, Fla., and resides in Green Bay. He and his wife, Denise, are the parents of three children, Alonzo, 25, A.J., 24, and Jordan, 21. Highsmith has two other children, Jasmine, 29, and Brandon, 27. Brandon (Thermilus) played collegiately as a running back at the University at Buffalo, Alonzo was a collegiate linebacker at the University of Arkansas, A.J. recently finished his college career as a defensive back at the University of Miami and Jordan is a senior track and field student-athlete at Oklahoma State.