View Full Version : LB - Orlando Misaalefua

11-02-2005, 11:09 AM
The truth is, top-ranked Fort Campbell's Orlando Misaalefua and Josh McWherter are bitter, contentious rivals.

At least they are when they're playing John Madden Football on their video game console. And when they do play, the two are fierce, fierce competitors.

Just ask Misaalefua who's the better gamer.

"Yes sir, I am the better player," said Misaalefua, the senior linebacker/offensive lineman. "I'm older and bigger, and because of that I can boss him around."

McWherter begged to differ.

"If we could reiterate," said McWherter, the sophomore defensive/offensive lineman, "the first time we played at my house, I was Philly and he was Atlanta. He was the one that got frustrated and turned the game off. I got a pick and took it to the house. The final score was 54-7."

While life is supposed to imitate art, the final score of Misaalefua's and McWherter's initial Madden battle eerily resembles what Fort Campbell has done to most of its opponents this season.

Now the No. 1 Falcons (10-0, 7-0 No. 1 District 1-2A), who have outscored opponents 463-52, hope to take their band of brothers all the way to the Class 2A state championship game on Dec. 3 in Louisville.

Fort Campbell gets the journey started Friday against Edmonson County at 7:30 p.m. at Fryar Stadium.

"We haven't been beaten by a team in our district in three years," Misaalefua said. "We just have to carry that on to the playoffs. We just have to go through the playoffs destroying our opponents."

Said McWherter, "Edmonson County has some big guys. They're going to come out and go full speed. As a sophomore playing, I have to be one of the most trusted on the field, because I have the least experience. I have to be able to hold my own on the line. But it's also good to have Orlando and Micah (Johnson) there, because if I make a mistake they are there to boost me up and make the play for me."

Misaalefua has certainly done his part at linebacker.

For the season, Misaalefua leads the Falcons with 116 tackles (also with 4 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 TDs) and is starting to see college recruiters calling to inquire about his services.

In the past week, the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder has been offered by Ball State, Kentucky and Troy, and is expecting offers from Boise State, Utah, Hawaii and Louisville.

"I'm pretty excited," Misaalefua said. "I have a whole bunch of these schools coming after me, and at least I know I'll be going to college somewhere. I'm excited about getting offers, and getting colleges that I hope to get offers from. Now, all I have to do is decide."

Said Fort Campbell coach Shawn Berner, "He's a tough, tough football player. It took some senior tape for him to get some offers going. He was that midseason-evlauation kid for a lot of programs. He's really coming on. He's got an instinct for the ball. He takes coaching well, and does what he's supposed to do on and off the field. ... He's just a tough football player that loves the game and will do anything for his team."

McWherter has impressed as a defensive lineman.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder was fifth in tackles with 81 (also with 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles) on the season and wants to emulate the talent that surrounds him on defense.

"The talent, I hope it washes off on me," McWherter said, "so I can hopefully be looked at and go to college. Having Micah in the backfield is a big confidence boost. Leonard (Gordon) at safety, he comes in and lays down the lumber. And having Orlando back there makes it all a good time."

It's how the duo plays together that makes Berner very happy.

"They work very well together," Berner said. "Josh puts a lot of pressure on quarterbacks. He's another good athlete who's just a sophomore. I think he'll be a kid who gains a lot of attention in the near future and will be a big part of our program, as he is now. He's done an excellent job.

"In fact, Josh and Orlando are good buddies. They work for each other and do an excellent job on defense."

Misaalefua enjoys working with McWherter.

"Whatever play our coaches call, he knows what I'm doing and I know what he's doing," Misaalefua said.

"If he goes left, then I'm going right. We just know what each other are doing."

McWherter said there are times he and Misaalefua can be completely dominant.

"There are certain plays, that if I have to bump into coverage and Orlando backs me up, when we scheme that right we'll own that game. We'll walk away with defensive players of the game."

But the thing that binds them both is trust.

"We work on the plays enough, where I know what I have to do," McWherter said. "But if I mess up, Orlando is there to set me straight and tell me what I need to do. He'll make sure my head is in the game and I'm focused."

Said Misaalefua, "Defensive linemen and linebackers have to have a lot of trust. He's got to know what I'm doing, and I've got to know what he's doing. He's got to trust me to do my job and I've got to trust him to do his job."


11-02-2005, 11:10 AM
"He played outside linebacker on defense, but believe it or not, he was one of our offensive tackles. And he won our offensive line award. He’s one of the best pass blockers I’ve ever coached. Obviously, that’s not going to be his position at the next level, but I think it says something about him because he’s the type of kid you can put anywhere on the field, and he’ll do whatever you ask. He never comes off the field for us. He’s on offense, defense and special teams, and he’s one of the toughest, most physical kids I’ve ever had. That’s going to be very appealing to the college scouts." -Fort Campbell coach Shawn Berner

He is listed as being in Rivals Preseason Kentucky Top 20 at # 20.

11-02-2005, 11:11 AM
Fort Campbell (Ky.) HS is home to as many as three prospects this season. The less heralded of the group is Orlando Misaalefua, a 6-foot-1, 200 pound linebacker/safety considered one of the bigger sleepers in the Midwest. “Cincinnati, Ohio, and Ball State have offered me,” Misaalefua said, “Kentucky, Western (Kentucky), Clemson and Bowling Green have been in contact. I’m planning on visiting Ball State soon and I’d like to go to a couple games at UK when I get a chance with some of my teammates.” The Wildcats are recruiting Safety Leonard Gordon and Linebacker Micah Johnson from Fort Campbell in addition to Misaalefua. “I’ve stayed in really close contact with a lot of those guys from Kentucky. They’ve been talking to me a lot about coming up there.”
Misaalefua, who collected more than 150 tackles as a junior, knows what he’s looking for in his college destination; “I’m looking for a school with a great coaching staff and has good facilities and a decent academic program. Basically, a good school.”

No matter where Misaalefua plays in college, he’ll be successful because of his tenacious energy on the field. “My engine never stops. I love to hit people. I challenge myself against the best competition to better myself against other players. I’m constantly trying to improve myself as a player.”

11-02-2005, 11:11 AM
Playing alongside star athletes Micah Johnson and Leonard Gordon, it would be easy to feel left out when it comes to making headlines. But not for Fort Campbell senior Orlando Misaalefua.

Very strong and fast, Misaalefua is getting his share of attention, especially from college coaches and scouts. He's being recruited by D1 universities at Ohio, Kentucky, Ball State, Western Kentucky, and Arkansas State, among others. And with college scouts flocking to see Johnson and Gordon, Misaalefua's list of suitors is sure to grow.

And according to Fort Campbell coach Shawn Berner, Misaalefua deserves all the attention he is getting.

"Orlando is a very versatile player," said Berner. "He is one of the toughest football players I have coached. He is a physical player with great athletic ability. He is the type of player that leads by example. He's just a great person all the way around."

Misaalefua also deserves credit for his effort in the classroom with a GPA near 3.0. He's not taken his ACT yet, but is currently preparing to do so this fall.

Fort Campbell is currently the #1 ranked team in Kentucky's Class 2A and has been since the preseason. The Falcons are 3-0 and have not been seriously challenged yet this season. Defense has been a key for Fort Campbell, which has allowed only 25 points all season, an average of just one touchdown per game. Meanwhile, the Falcons' offense is averaging better than 42 points per night.

Fort Campbell is in action this week (Sept. 16) at home against Trigg Co., a key district game. Trigg Co. is widely considered the team with the best shot to beat Fort Campbell in 2A's District 1.

11-02-2005, 11:44 AM
Do you think he is considering Troy? According to rivals, UK und Louisville seem to be his top choices. I don't think he's coming. Anyway, thanks for the recruiting update.

11-02-2005, 01:31 PM
I would like to think that we have a chance of getting kids that Troy offers scholarships to. If not then it is horrible recruiting. He does seem to have his mind set on staying near his home but maybe just maybe the trojans can snag him.

11-02-2005, 10:16 PM
The No. 20 player in Rivals.com's preseason Kentucky Top 20, athlete Orlando Misaalefua, recently received scholarship offers from three Division I-A programs and is getting interest from three more.

The 6-foot, 200-pounder from Fort Campbell High has been offered by Troy, Ball State and Kentucky and is getting interest from Boise State, Utah and Hawaii. An offer from the Broncos, Utes and Rainbow Warriors could be forthcoming.

He has unofficially visited UK and Ball State, along with Western Kentucky. He came back from Muncie, Ind., with good impressions of the Ball State program and campus.

"It was very nice," Misaalefua said. "The campus was nice. I liked it. It looked like a place that I would go."

He's being recruited by Cardinals defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Mark Smith.

"He's a pretty good guy," Misaalefua said. "I came to one of his games and he talked to his players. I liked that, that he could still talk to his players."

Defensive tackles coach Ricky Logo is recruiting Misaalefua for Troy.

"He's Samoan and I'm Samoan, so we always have something to talk about," he said.

Kentucky offensive coordinator Joker Phillips rounds out the coaches recruiting Misaalefua from the school that have offered him.

"I don't talk with him very much," he said. "I do know that he is a good coach. A good recruiting coach."

The two-star rated prospect added that coaches have been talking to him about playing outside and middle linebacker, along with strong safety. He does not have a favorite among the schools that have offered.

"I'd say that they're all even," he said. "I'm still looking around at a lot of schools."

Fort Campbell, which also features Notre Dame commit Leonard Gordon and Rivals100 jumbo athlete Micah Johnson, has stormed through the regular season and has its eye on a state title heading into the playoffs.

"The season is going very well," Misaalefua said. "We are dominating. We are 10-0 and we are getting into the playoffs. We should do really good."


11-15-2005, 11:23 PM
Johnson leads rout
Falcons star scores 5 TDs in 2nd-round blowout win
The Leaf-Chronicle

Caldwell County didn't have the pleasure of experiencing the full effect of top-ranked Fort Campbell's Micah Johnson when the teams first met on Sept. 30.

But on Friday night, Caldwell County got all the doses of Micah Johnson — and the rest of Fort Campbell — it could handle during the Falcons' 56-7 drubbing in a Class 2A second round game at Fryar Stadium.

Johnson ripped Caldwell County for five touchdowns and gained 194 yards on 12 carries.

His scores came on runs of 29, 11, 13, 21 and 37 yards.

"We were ready — we came ready to play," said Johnson, who missed three quarters of the first meeting after being ejected for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. "Myself, personally, I came ready to play. I just felt the team came out and did a great job contributing to my yards. The offensive line contributed for me. So all my thanks goes to them, they made my job a lot easier. I just wanted to come out here and make a mark. We came out here and worked hard."

Steven Nunn added two touchdowns, C.J. Croft tossed one to Larry Robinson and Nate Johnson kicked a 42-yard field goal.

The win moves Fort Campbell (12-0, No. 1 District 1-2A) on to the Class 2A quarterfinals for the second time in three years, where they will face Owensboro Catholic, a 35-23 winner over Trigg County, next Friday at home at 7:30 p.m.

It also marked the 300th win ever by Fort Campbell's football program.

"It's big and very important," said Fort Campbell coach Shawn Berner, who's 37-9 in his four years with the Falcons. "Coach (Marshall) Patterson started it off here and made a great mark. We've got coaches on our staff that played for coach Patterson, and this means a lot to them. It means a lot to our kids, too. We haven't talked about it a lot, because we want to put records aside and win one game at a time."

Patterson went 227-120 during his time at Fort Campbell from 1962 to 1993.

The Falcons racked up 420 yards of total offense (361 yards rushing and 59 yards passing).

Fort Campbell's Tim Atcher added 129 yards on 15 carries to go over 1,000 yards for the season, and Nunn had eight attempts for 33 yards and two scores.

Falcons quarterback C.J. Croft went 5-for-9 for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Fort Campbell was up to its old tricks again in holding Caldwell County to 188 total yards (32 rushing and 156 passing), including just 75 total yards in the second half.

"We played pretty aggressive," Fort Campbell linebacker Orlando Misaalefua said. "They did, too. But we just kept on hitting them and they couldn't get any yards. They are a strong team, but I guess we were just better. We bend, but we don't break."

After the defense held Caldwell County (7-5, No. 3 District 1-2A) to a three-and-out on its first possession, the Falcons wasted little time finding the end zone.

All it took was two plays, 44 seconds and a bruising 29-yard run by Micah Johnson that put Fort Campbell ahead 7-0 after Nate Johnson's kick at the 9:00 mark of the first.

The teams traded possessions, and Caldwell County looked like it was going to get something going, until LaDarius Davis' interception and subsequent 40-yard return with 5:18 in the first.

"I knew something was coming," Davis said. "They sent three receivers out to my side. So I just stayed in my zone, saw the ball and just broke on it."

That's when Fort Campbell's run began, as the Falcons scored on eight of their next nine possessions.

Micah Johnson ended a three-play drive with an 11-yard run with 4:25 to go in the first.

Nunn plunged in from the one at the 2:02 point of the first. The extra point failed, and Fort Campbell went up 20-0. Marco Copeland's interception set up the touchdown drive.

Fort Campbell's only non-scoring producing drive came when Nate Johnson barely missed a 35-yard field goal early in the second.

But the Falcons picked it right back up when Micah Johnson capped off an eight-play, 80-yard drive with a 13-yard scamper with 6:10 left in the half. The score was set up by a Yule Wimbush interception.

Micah Johnson scored his fourth touchdown to end a one-play, six-second drive with a 21-yard run to make it 32-0.

Caldwell County's lone score came next when Cameron Mills hit Allen Wadlington on an 8-yard pass that made it 32-7.

Then Nate Johnson connected on a 42-yard field goal as time was running out to give the Falcons their 35-7 halftime lead.

Fort Campbell scored each time it touched the ball in the third quarter, on a 37-yard Micah Johnson run at 10:39, a 5-yard run by Nunn at 8:33 and Croft's 8-yard pass to Robinson at 2:04 for the final score.

"It's a rotation," Nunn said. "We have the backs who can make it happen. We have the line to make it. We have everybody to make it. All we have to do is stay together and take it all the way."

Due to Kentucky's mercy rule, the clock ran continuously after that and both sides went to their reserves.

11-16-2005, 10:09 AM
Top-ranked Fort Campbell's Orlando Misaalefua admits coming into this season, he wasn't the most-discussed or highly sought-after recruit.

But his play changed all that, and now the versatile linebacker/offensive tackle/tight end will take his talents to the University of Louisville to play football next season.

Misaalefua made his verbal commitment to play for Bobby Petrino's team late Monday night. Louisville, which is currently 7-2 and ranked No. 18 nationally, offered Misaalefua a scholarship less than a week ago.

"I did kind of come out of nowhere," said Misaalefua, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior. "A few months ago, I didn't get very many looks from any of these colleges. But as the season has gone on, and as we prepare to try to make the state championship, all these schools started to give me offers to come and play for them."

Misaalefua was also offered by Kentucky, Ball State, Troy and Utah, which extended a scholarship on Tuesday.

Misaalefua, who leads the Falcons in tackles, said he expects to play either free or strong safety or outside linebacker for Louisville, a member of the Big East Conference.

"(Having to pick a school) put a little pressure on me," Misaalefua said. "So i just decided Louisville was the school I was going to go to, so I could get some of that pressure off of me."

Along with Fort teammate Leonard Gordon's earlier verbal commitment to Notre Dame, Misaalefua becomes the second football player in the area who has committed to play on the NCAA Division I football level.

Fort Campbell's Micah Johnson and Kenwood's Ricky Lumpkin are also expected to eventually sign with Division I schools.

And being the second athlete from Fort Campbell this season to commit to play for a school on college football's highest level was thrilling to Misaalefua.

"It feels pretty good — it is pretty exciting," he said. "I mean, to be the third from this school who will go to a Division I football school feels pretty good. I wouldn't mind going to a lower division school, but going Division I is pretty big for me. I know it's going to be fun and I'll probably get noticed a little more."

Misaalefua wasn't alone in making his selection; he had plenty of welcomed input from his family.

"My dad (Erol) and I talked over it (Monday) night and both felt Louisville was a pretty good school," Misaalefua said. "He said he liked the football team and the fact they've had great seasons the past few years.

"We also talked about the housing in the area and how they are all pretty nice. It's supposed to be a lot of fun over there. The coaches told me there is always something to do, and that you're never bored."

"But my mom (Donna), dad and I, we all just decided it was a good place to go to school, get a free education and play football for."