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Pittsburgh Steelers’ Alex Highsmith 1 of 32 NFL Nominees for The Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Jay Biggerstaff / USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Alex Highsmith 1 of 32 NFL Nominees for The Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Outside linebacker, Alex Highsmith, a 3rd round draft pick out of UNC-Charlotte, is in his 3rd season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has quickly become a fan favorite. Highsmith presents as a force to be reckoned with on the field, fiercely competitive and driven – he is currently tied for 5th most sacks in the league with 9. Highsmith is also racking up the nominations and awards as he was just named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 10. Most recently, his respect for the game and his opponents has earned him the team nomination for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Steelers Highsmith

Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker Alex Highsmith pre-snap against the Indianapolis Colts on December 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Steelers.com)

The award was created in 2014 and named after late Steelers founder and owner, Art Rooney Sr. Mr. Rooney was an ambassador of the game, and always believed in integrity and good sportsmanship. He brought class, honor, and respect to the NFL. Each of the 32 NFL teams nominates a player that exemplifies the characteristics that Mr. Rooney values – on-field sportsmanship, fair play, integrity, and respect for the sport and their opponents. 

Those 32 nominees are whittled down to 8 by a committee that includes former players like Larry Fitzgerald, Leonard Wheeler, and Warrick Dunn. Those 8, 4 from each conference, are then listed on current players’ Pro Bowl ballots. This allows current players to choose the winner from their peers. The winner is announced during the NFL Honors show on Super Bowl Eve.

 

Highsmith Honors

Highsmith is the true embodiment of what it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. He has overcome adversity and silenced his critics. He continues to quietly put his head down and work hard on improving his gameplay and it shows. He has progressively gotten better each season. 

He does all of this without drawing negative attention to himself. Highsmith doesn’t engage in trash-talking or showy on-field displays. He lets his play speak for itself and boy does it ever. He is on track to meet his preseason goal of recording double-digit sack numbers. 

Steelers Highsmith

Steelers’ defensive linemen, Larry Ogunjobi (65) and Alex Highsmith (56) against the Cleveland Browns. | Jared Wickerham / Pittsburgh Steelers

“I always believed I was given this platform to be a blessing to others and an inspiration to kids,” said Highsmith. “I know when I was a kid I looked up to athletes, so to be a role model for them in a way like this is what I want to do.”

 

The full list of nominees:

Cooper Kupp, Rams; Lane Johnson, Eagles; Budda Baker, Cardinals; Maxx Crosby, Raiders; Grady Jarrett, Falcons; Austin Ekeler, Chargers; Calais Campbell, Ravens; Von Miller, Bills; Alec Ingold, Dolphins; Johnny Hekker, Panthers; Dalvin Cook, Vikings; DeAndre Houston-Carson, Bears; David Andrews, Patriots; B.J. Hill, Bengals; Ryan Ramczyk, Sains; Nick Chubb, Browns; Daniel Jones, Giants; Dak Prescott, Cowboys; Duane Brown, Jets; Pat Surtain II, Broncos; Kalif Raymond, Lions; Alex Highsmith, Steelers; Aaron Jones, Packers; Kyle Juszczyk, 49ers; Jerry Hughes, Texans; Will Dissly, Seahawks; DeForest Buckner, Colts; Lavonte David, Buccaneers; Christian Kirk, Jaguars; Derrick Henry, Titans; Nick Bolton, Chiefs; Terry McLaurin, Commanders.

 

Which NFL player do you think will win the award? Click to comment below!

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Hi! I am LeeAnn. I am from Pittsburgh originally and my dad had some ties to the Steelers. I grew up literally bleeding black and gold. Despite having moved around quite a bit I love to travel to see my Pittsburgh teams play and try to attend games as often as I can. I never get sick of writing articles about the Steelers or talking about them in my podcast. #HereWeGo

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