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Patriots’ Dont’a Hightower has ‘bigger goals ahead’ after Pro Bowl nod

Dont'a Hightower, Patriots

New England Patriots Dont’a Hightower is officially a two-time Pro Bowler. On Tuesday, the NFL named him as a starter for his efforts in 2019, which surprised many, including himself.

“It’s a huge honor, man,” Hightower told reporters Wednesday, via WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “I definitely was not planning on that this year. I definitely have, obviously, bigger goals ahead, but I appreciate my teammates, all the fans, everybody that voted, colleagues and all that good stuff. But hopefully, we’ve got bigger fish to fry.”

Hightower is one of the NFL’s best at the position and deserving of the nod. However, he’s not filling up the box score as all-stars tend to do. The 29-year-old has 60 combined tackles, four sacks, and three pass deflections on the season. Nonetheless, he’s “blessed” to be where he’s at but would rather hear his name called in a Super Bowl setting.

“I’m blessed, man,” Hightower said. “And that’s first and foremost. I’m blessed. But me seeking out gratification from other people, people that don’t necessarily see me work each and every day — which, I mean, that means a lot to me for those people, fans and everybody to see the work that I put in each and every day — but that’s not something that I wrote down, like, ‘Pro Bowl.’ That’s not something that’s important to me. I appreciate it. I definitely do. I can’t say that enough. But I definitely have bigger goals.”

Whether or not Hightower accomplishes those bigger goals is largely up to his defense.