Fortunately, Hightower does return defensive back Jordan Bell, who was named District 23-5A Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2009. As a sophomore, the 5-foot-9, 165-pounder recorded 40 tackles and broke up 15 passes from his spot at free safety.
"We had a good defense last year," said Bell. "Great at every unit. Great defensive line, great linebackers, and a great secondary. As the only returning starter, there is some weight on my shoulders to carry the defense. It was awesome winning the award (Newcomer of the Year). It felt good and I didn't expect it."
"SMU has a really good team," he said. "I saw their bowl game last year and they're pretty good. It's definitely a school that I'll consider."
Bell, a safety on the high school level, expects to switch positions in college and he has the speed to effortlessly make the transition.
"I expect, due to my height, that I'll move to corner in college. I run the 200 meters in track and my personal record is in the 21-to-22 second range. One of my best games last year came in the playoffs against (Beaumont) West Brook. Their top receiver caught a pass and I was able to run him down in the open field. I had good games, with some big hits, against (Fort Bend) Willowridge, (Fort Bend) Travis, and (Fort Bend) Clements."
Bell and the Hightower defense yielded only 74 points in 10 regular season games last year.