INDIANAPOLIS -- Alabama inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower believes he'd fit in perfectly with Pro Bowlers such as Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers in Chicago.
When asked about potentially playing alongside some of the great linebackers in the league, including Ray Lewis in Baltimore and James Harrison of the Steelers, Hightower said he recently dined with Urlacher in Arizona.
Hightower, a junior, is training in Arizona at Athletes Performance Institute.
He led Alabama in tackles last season with 85, including 11 tackles for loss, four sacks, eight hurries and one interception.
That's the kind of production that even Lewis and Urlacher would be proud of.
Hightower was more interested in hearing what the 33-year-old Urlacher, a first-round pick in the 2000 draft, had to say about transitioning from college to the professional game and lifestyle.
"The transition from student athlete to professional," Hightower said of what Urlacher talked to him about. "To play alongside of those guys, get a lot of experience from those guys, that’d help me out a lot."
Did Urlacher sell the Lewisburg, Tenn., native on the big city of Chicago?
"He wasn’t trying to sell me as much. We talked. We rapped a little bit about football and the NFL," Hightower said.
Hightower was an All-American inside linebacker in Alabama's 3-4 defense. He was listed in college at 6-4, 260, but measured at the Combine at 6-2, 265. He wants to drop 5-10 more pounds for his campus workout on March 7.
His 2011 season was a bounceback year after the captain was admittedly timid as a sophomore in 2010, his first season back from a season-ending ACL injury against Arkansas the year before.
"I feel a lot more fluid as far as my movement," Hightower said.
Teams have shown appreciation for his versatility, and he believes based on interest from scouts that he can play inside linebacker or outside linebacker in any defensive scheme.
"I feel a little bit more comfortable playing inside," he said.