Dont'a Hightower on OMF shares story of how he got to wear No. 54

Ryan Hannable
November 13, 2019 - 8:37 pm

Two of the best Patriots linebackers in recent memory -- Tedy Bruschi and Dont'a Hightower -- joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria at the same time Wednesday to help with Christian Fauria’s “25 for 25s” event to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

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Within the conversation, the story of how Hightower got No. 54 came out. Of course, Bruschi (and Brian Waters) wore the number before him.

“I knew a lot (about Bruschi)," said Hightower. "One of the first things, because I had No. 45 for awhile, and it kind of came down to it me not being able to wear the number. I was kind of talking around and whatever, and I actually got to talk to Berj (Najarian, director of football/head coach administration) before we got things lined up and whatever. He told me he called and talked to Tedy and got his approval. At that moment, I already knew and realized and respected (Tedy), but to get that approval meant a lot to me.”

Bruschi is happy with Hightower now keeping the No. 54 legacy going.

“My rookie year, training camp, No. 45 was my number that I also started in and then switched to 54," said Bruschi. "Berj is great, Bill (Belichick) is great. I think it was just common courtesy of letting me know High was about to get the number. I think High feels the same way I did, it’s not just the number, it’s the man that wears it. I think Dont’a has done a great job of wearing it and being a captain for that team and a leader of that team.”

Hightower and the current Patriots will take on the Eagles this Sunday in Philadelphia.

Related: Tom Brady on OMF discusses N'Keal Harry, what keeps him wanting to play until 45