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Ifeanyi Ohalete
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  • 2006 USC News
  • He was a business administration major at USC. His nickname is Ife. His middle name is Eberachukwu. In part, his name means, “Nothing surpasses God.” He is half Nigerian and has spent time with his father’s tribe, Ebo, in a pair of trips to Nigeria when he was younger. His half brother, Earl Simpson, played football at Texas A&M and another, Carl, plays pro basketball overseas. He was born in Springfield, Ill. His sports hero is Hakeem Olajuwon.

    He earned 1996 Super Prep All-American, Student Sports All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA honorable mention, Super Prep All-Farwest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Prep Star Best in the West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Los Angeles Times All-Orange County first team, Orange County Register All-Orange County first team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team and All-Sunset League first team as a senior at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High. He had 28 solo tackles and an Orange County-high 9 interceptions (with 2 returned for TDs) in 1996, despite missing 4 games with a deep thigh bruise and an ankle injury. As a wide receiver on offense, he averaged 25.6 yards per catch. As a 1995 junior, he made the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team. He had a school-record 15 career interceptions as a 3-year starter. He also played baseball and basketball at Los Alamitos. Current Trojans Sagan Atuatasi, Stanley Guyness and Bernard Riley also prepped at Los Alamitos.

    He earned 1996 Super Prep All-American, Student Sports All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA honorable mention, Super Prep All-Farwest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Prep Star Best in the West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Los Angeles Times All-Orange County first team, Orange County Register All-Orange County first team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team and All-Sunset League first team as a senior at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High. He had 28 solo tackles and an Orange County-high 9 interceptions (with 2 returned for TDs) in 1996, despite missing 4 games with a deep thigh bruise and an ankle injury. As a wide receiver on offense, he averaged 25.6 yards per catch. As a 1995 junior, he made the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team. He had a school-record 15 career interceptions as a 3-year starter. He also played baseball and basketball at Los Alamitos. Current Trojans Sagan Atuatasi, Stanley Guyness and Bernard Riley also prepped at Los Alamitos.

    Ohalete served as a backup, first at the rover linebacker spot for the first part of his 1997 first-year freshman season and then at strong safety. He also played on special teams. Overall while appearing in all 11 games in 1997, he made 3 tackles (1 each against California, UNLV and Notre Dame). He also recovered an onside kick late in the UCLA game.

    Ohalete backed up Grant Pearsall at strong safety and was a key special teams player as a 1998 sophomore. He even started 4 early-season games (San Diego State, Oregon State, Florida State and Arizona State) when Pearsall was nursing an injury and did a solid job. Overall in 1998 while appearing in all 13 games, he made 52 tackles, including 4 for losses of 6 yards, deflected 8 passes, intercepted 3 passes and blocked a punt. He was named USC’s Special Teams Player of the Year. In the Purdue opener, he had 7 tackles, then he added 5 against San Diego State, 2 versus Oregon State and 5 at Florida State. Against Arizona State, he ran back a blocked fourth quarter punt 14 yards for the decisive TD (he also had 6 tackles). Then, against California, he blocked a punt to set up a USC field goal and intercepted a pass in the end zone to go with his 3 tackles. He had 4 tackles and an interception at both Washington State and Oregon. He made 3 tackles against Washington, 2 at Stanford, 6 at UCLA and 3 against Notre Dame. He had 2 tackles against TCU in the Sun Bowl before being sidelined with a sprained right ankle.

    Ohalete started all of his 1999 junior season at free safety. Overall in 1999 while appearing in all 12 games, he made 84 tackles (third on USC), including 3 for losses of 13 yards (with an 8-yard sack), broke up a team-best 15 passes, intercepted 2 passes (against California, which set up a USC TD, and Louisiana Tech), forced a co-team-high 5 fumbles (against Hawaii to set up a TD, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA) and recovered a team-high 3 fumbles (versus Oregon to set up a TD, Arizona State and UCLA). He tied for first in the Pac-10 in both forced fumbles (5, tied for fourth in the nation) and fumbles recovered (3) and tied for second in pass deflections (15). He was a USC captain. He had 3 tackles against Hawaii (with a sack and a forced fumble) and San Diego State (with a deflection). He had 11 tackles and recovered a fumble at Oregon, then made 8 tackles against Oregon State (with a forced fumble). At Arizona, he had 5 stops with 2 deflections and a forced fumble, then added 7 tackles at Notre Dame and 9 versus Stanford. At California, he had 4 stops, 2 deflections and an interception. He had 12 stops (1 for a loss) with 1 fumble recovery, a forced fumble and 2 deflections against Arizona State. He led USC with 11 tackles at Washington State. Against UCLA, he made 5 tackles (1 for a loss), recovered a fumble which he forced and had a deflection. He had 6 stops, an interception and 2 deflections against Louisiana Tech.

    The experienced Ohalete, who started at free safety in 1999, was moved to strong safety in 2000 spring drills and will battle Troy Polamalu for the starting job as a senior in 2000. He also will be the holder on all placekicks.

    Ifeanyi Ohalete (born May 22, 1979 in Springfield, IL) is currently a National Football League strong safety for the Cincinnati Bengals. Although he played for the Arizona Cardinals in 2004. He came to Arizona on waivers from the Washington Redskins, where he played 47 games with 24 starts from 2001-2003. He entered the NFL with Washington in 2001 as a college free agent.

    Ohalete played the 2005 season as the starting Strong Safety for the eventual 2005 AFC North Division Champion Cincinnati Bengals.

     

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