Tag Archives: alonzo highsmith

Highsmith, Alonzo

Cards: ProSet 1989, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o Home
Sent: 4/5   Received: 6/22  (77 days)
See Also: Official Autograph Souvenir

Alonzo joins the Hall finally. I’ve missed out a few times on Highsmith. While I got his autograph on an official Houston Oilers Souvenir page back in 1988, it did not strike me at the time to get him on cards. Then when he was traded to the Cowboys, he was not at Cowboys training camp for me to get his autograph on. Finally I was still in California when he was at Fan Fest II in Houston last year. Had been working my way around to him since I got started, and for the longest time didn’t see any replies out of the former Houston Oiler, but recently he lit up sportscollectors.net, so I shot him out a request as soon as possible. I noticed that the response times were erratic, so I was happy to get a return in a bit under 80 days.

Alonzo Highsmith was a strong downhill runningback from the University of Miami where he played for Jimmy Johnson. He was the third overall pick of the 1987 draft by the Houston Oilers, and after an acrimonious holdout, he started 3 games at running back and ran for 106 yards. Jerry Glanville moved him to fullback to best utilize his skills, after a logger jam developed at runningback between Mike Rozier, Allen Pinkett, and recent draftee Lorenzo White.  His best season as a pro came in 1989 when he ran for 531 yards and 4 TDs, and caught another 18 balls for 201 yards and 2 TDs.  Frequent knee issues were taking their toll on Highsmith though.

aprks90 highsmithIn 1990, the Oilers had new head coach Jack Pardee and with a conversion to the Run ‘N Shoot full-time, the Oilers had even less room for runningback, little less a fullback.  Houston traded Highsmith to Dallas where he was reunited with former Hurricanes coach Jimmy Johnson. He’d start 6 games mid year for the resurgent Cowboys that season, and then sign with the Buccaneers where he finished 1991 and 1992, before retiring.

Alonzo followed the route of some other players after their playing days are over, becoming a professional heavyweight boxer. He’d go 27-1-2 with 23 KOs before returning to football as a scout for the Packers organization. Recently he moved up in the organization, and will be moving to Green Bay with his family to live fulltime in the Summer of 2012.

G/Gs 65/42    Rush 283   Yds  1195    Avg 4.2     Td  7   Lg 42    |
Rec 42     Yds  428    Avg  10.2  Td 3   Lg  33

Official Autograph Souvenir

Acquired: 1989, In Person.

I remember my mother suffered through that hot and humid day at SWT for Josh and me, so that we could get some autographs. After practice the team set up tables and gave out signatures. On the way out to the parking lot we caught Highsmith, and then we followed behind Zendejas (who was driving his Lamborghini,) over to the team dorms.  It was there that Josh was infamously run over by Bruce Matthews, who then effortlessly picked him up by one arm, dusted him off, and profusely apologized with a hearty smile.

Autographs:

Jerry Glanville would go on to coach the Oilers to another playoff appearance, then move on to coach the Atlanta Falcons. He then went into the broadcasting booth and then back into coaching for a few years at Portland State.

David Williams, T was drafted out of Florida in 1989, and played primarily for the Houston Oilers during his 9 year career. He’s best known for an instance called ‘babygate’ where he skipped a game in favor of seeing his wife through the child birth of their first son and then grabbed the ire of his coaches who fined him and then the ensuing media storm that followed.

Alonzo Highsmith, FB was drafted in 1987 from Miami. A powerful inside runner, Highsmith would have had a stellar career if not for multiple knee surgeries that shortened his career. After football he went on to be a professional boxer and now is a scout for the Green Bay Packers.

Patrick Allen, CB nicknamed ‘doc’ was an all-pro honorable mention who had 16 breakups in 1987. He played for 7 years and had 7 INTs, which was highly misleading considering he was pretty good in the Oilers man to man coverage system.

Eric Fairs,LB was a backup LB who started 3 games in 1989, notching 2.5 sacks and 2 FR that season. He played for 6 years for the Oilers and 1 for the Falcons in 1992.

Tracey Eaton S played for 5 seasons in the NFL notching 3 picks in 1989 for the Oilers, and a pick of Jim Kelly that year in the playoffs, then fled in the Oilers mass exodus of  free agency in 1990. Also had a spectacular  highlight where he was flipped by the receiver right after he makes the interception that is making the rounds about Youtube.

Kenny Jackson was a former 1st rd pick of the Eagles in 83 who had a one year stint with the Oilers. He finished his career with 126 receptions for 2,170 yards and 11 TDs. Coached WRs at Penn State and now is a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network.

Tony Zendejas was originally a K in the USFL that came to the team in 1985 when the league folded. Zendejas leaving the Oilers in 1991 via free agency particularly stung as he would go on to kick the first perfect season in FGs for the Rams and five more years while the Oilers would struggle to find his replacement until they landed Al Del Greco.

Jay Pennison C, another former USFL refugee played for the Oilers from 1985 to 1990.  He started all five seasons that he was with the team, which happened to be some of the Oilers best offensive lines. Did acting in a movie or two after his days were over and then focused on his sports pub in Houston.

Billy Bell DB played for the Oilers in 1989 and then Chiefs in 1991 where he intercepted 1 pass.