by Shantrell Scott
TAMPA—As the daughter of retired NFL Tampa Buccaneers’ football player, Alonzo Highsmith, Jazmine Highsmith is also leaving her footprints in the sand as an athlete at University of South Florida.
As a junior majoring in public administration, Highsmith states that she goes to both school and practice full-time, which hardly leaves any time to do normal college activities. One thing that Highsmith describes herself being is very dedicated to her studies. Although she may fall into the dilemma of procrastination, she said that her time here at USF will not be spent in vain.
While holding distinctions in track & field, one being recently earned as the “Big East Academic All-Star”, Highsmith recalled a time in her life where she was first introduced into the sport of being a thrower at the age of 14 years old.
“I didn’t see myself as an athlete,” said Highsmith, “but in the ninth grade, the lady’s track coach came up to me and asked if I was interested in becoming a shot put thrower. At first, I was not interested because I never played sports before, but after the coach called my house and spoke to my mom about letting me tryout, I was forced into doing it. Now that I look back, I do thank them for doing it because I really enjoy playing in this sport.”
It may seem as Highsmith just became an athlete out of thin air. However, being a competitor has always been in her blood with the help of her father who has been retired from the Buccaneers since 1992 and is now the scout coach for the Green Bay Packers.
One reason for Highsmith being such an outstanding thrower is because of the motivation she says she received from her mother and her grandmother, who passed away this past July. Although the passing of her grandmother was so devastating to Highsmith to where she wanted to leave school to go back to her hometown in Miami, she said it was the thought of what her grandmother would do that kept her here at USF.
“I decided to stay because I know that my grandmother wouldn’t want me to quit. So I decided to dedicate this year’s track & field season to the memory of my grandmother and I’ll make sure that I win those medals in her honor.”