Forrest Hightower, a versatile defensive back and kickoff returner during his San Jose State University football career, signed a contract with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League. The team made the announcement earlier in the day.
Hightower was a starting safety during the 2013 and 2014 seasons and played in 47 games for the Spartans since the 2011 season.
As a senior, the 5-foot-10, 186-pound Concord, Calif., resident started nine games, was credited with 51 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and intercepted one pass. He also returned one kickoff for 34 yards. Hightower was an integral member of a defensive secondary that was #1-nationally in fewest passing yards allowed.
He was a reserve cornerback, nickel back and occasionally returned kickoffs his first two seasons before moving to safety in 2013. Hightower averaged 29.4 yards per return for eight career kickoff returns.
He will be joining former San Jose State teammate Khalil Paden, a second-year wide receiver, in Ottawa's preseason camp activities. The Redblacks' preseason begins June 8 and the regular season kicks off on June 25.
Hightower majored in communication studies and earned his bachelor's degree in May 2014.