(Photo via Alex Highsmith's Instagram)
Alex Highsmith played his first NFL game on Monday against the Giants and noticed his parents were tweeting throughout the game for him. His parents were not allowed inside the stadium so they decided to stay home and wear Highsmith's jersey while they cheered him on Twitter. When Highsmith saw the tweets he said it meant the world to him seeing his parents support.
"I was looking at all of his tweets," said Highsmith, referring to his father's account. "It was so awesome to be able to go out there and play for my family. They are one of the reasons I play this game. It was awesome to see my parents celebrate, my parents wear my jersey back home. It was just something I truly love. I was pretty emotional after the game when I saw them wearing my jersey, rooting me on, my dad posted some videos and stuff like that. I am so thankful for their support in my life. It was an awesome feeling for sure."
Highsmith covered for TJ Watt and Bud Dupree occasionally. He also played special teams. Alex says it was an awesome experience but knew that the game speed was much different from College.
"It was fun. It was an awesome experience going out there my first time," said Highsmith. "I knew the game speed was definitely going to be fast, but I felt like I did what I know how to do. I prepared well going into the game. Having no preseason games is definitely a little bit of adversity to get through. But I am a guy who rises through times of adversity. I did what I had to do at practice. I worked hard and did extra work to be able to prepare myself for that game. I just wanted to go in there and play hard and do my job, do whatever I can for the team when I got in. That was the mindset that I had."
"My first game on Monday night, under the lights, primetime. It was an awesome experience. I felt like I showed flashes of what I can do when I got in the game. I wanted to play with great effort, get after the quarterback when I was in there, do whatever I could just to make plays. It's been awesome being able to learn from those guys, watch how they work."
Alex said it was amazing to learn from the Best Duo in the NFL (TJ Watt and Bud Dupree).
"It's been awesome to learn from Bud and T.J.," said Highsmith. "I think they showed it, they are the best outside backer duo in the league. Just going out there whenever they need a break, me and Ola Adeniyi can go in there and provide quality reps. That's what we did Monday night."
"I am just learning from them, watching what they do. Being a high productive guy, high energy guy. I just want to provide quality reps and make plays for the team because that is what matters most."
Highsmith says he was confident going into the game because the Coaches did a great job preparing the team. Alex says he continues to lock in on special teams and defense for practice every single week.
"Going into the game I felt confident in what I was doing," said Highsmith. "Special teams coordinator Danny Smith has done a great job of preparing us to be able to go out there and execute. I just did whatever I could to prepare for that aspect of the game. He always says it's a one-play drive, a one-play series. You don't get any re-dos on special teams. I was locking in on those and will continue to every week, meeting with him after practice, doing extra stuff to make sure I am totally prepared not just for defense but special teams. That is something I take pride in, special teams."