The Browns have hired Alonzo Highsmith as their new vice president of player personnel.
Here are five things to know:
- Highsmith, who spent the past 19 seasons with the Green Bay Packers' personnel department, including the past six as a senior personnel executive, will be effectively reunited with new Browns general manager John Dorsey. The pair worked together for 13 years in Green Bay before Dorsey, who was hired by Cleveland last month, took over as the Chiefs' general manager in 2013.
- Like Dorsey, Highsmith got his start under former Packers executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ron Wolf. Highsmith is widely considered one of the NFL's top talent evaluators and was part of a front office that drafted Donald Driver, Aaron Rodgers, A.J. Hawk, Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji. The Packers won a Super Bowl in 2011. Highsmith got his start in Green Bay as a college scout in 1999 and spent the first 13 years of his time with the Packers mostly responsible for scouting the Southwest region.
- Before the NFL, Highsmith was a star fullback for the Miami Hurricanes and prominently featured on ESPN's documentary "The U," which documented the program's rise to prominence in the 1980s. Highsmith, who finished with almost 3,000 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns, helped lead the Hurricanes to the 1983 national championship under former coach Howard Schnellenberger. He is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame. After college, Highsmith was selected by the Houston Oilers with the third overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft. A series of knee injuries ultimately ended his six-year career.
- Highsmith is revered as something of a legend in South Florida, but he actually lived in Montreal, Canada, before moving to Miami when he was a sophomore in high school. Highsmith attended Christopher Columbus High School (he was teammates with Mike Shula) and was the Florida High School Defensive Player of the Year in 1982.
- When his football playing career was over, Highsmith turned to professional boxing and competed as a heavyweight. He was 27-1-1. "When I retired I had nothing to do one day and I always thought boxers looked like they were in good shape," Highsmith told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I wanted to go to the gym. … I said you know what, I'm gonna go box."