Bama's Hightower filling new roles after injury

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower
appears to be settling in nicely to new roles on the defense.

Hightower is taking over Butkus Award winner Rolando McClain's
position and his defensive playcalling duties.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says Hightower has adapted well
and made few mistakes. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Hightower says he's
better and faster than he was before a season-ending knee injury
early last season.

He says he took advantage of being sidelined to study film and
master the defense.

Now, Hightower says he feels like "a totally different player."

He was a starter since his freshman year. Hightower tore knee
ligaments on a cut block against Arkansas in the fourth game last
season. He received a medical redshirt.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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