“Oh man, there are so many [great memories] to choose from,” Alisa said. “Breaking my arm was one of them, and I think I learned a lot from that and drew a lot from that big injury to see my teammates support me and surround me with love.”
The copious amounts of experience over the many years of playing football left Alisa sort of digging deep to come up with a more memorable one. Going back a few years, Alisa recalled a game that he played in that stood most in him mind.
“I think at the start of my sophomore year as I emerged as the starting running back was pretty fun for me,” said Alisa. “Then being a senior and a captain has been fun too. I don’t know, for me it’s been a blur as I look back on it. It’s been a fun ride playing at BYU.
“I would say the San Jose State game my sophomore year. That was my breakout game as a running back. I was expecting to get two plays that game, and they ended up giving me the ball like 18 times. I almost broke a hundred yards but I was like 10 yards short.”
With so many to choose from, Alisa did his best to pick out those better moments of his career. One of the best memories he had throughout his entire career was simply being with his brothers and Cougar teammates. However, there was one teammate that really stood out to Alisa. That teammate was none other than former BYU quarterback Riley Nelson.
“There’s so many,” said Alisa with a smile. “One of my favorite things was being around the guys that could keep it lite, and one guy that I loved was Riley Nelson. I know he’s a guy that got a lot of heat for his play, but there is no doubt that he had a lot of heart and he was a natural leader for our team. We would be in games and he would see that some of us were all stressed out or tense. He would come over to us and crack a few jokes and make us less tense. Then we would drive down the field and score. I had a lot of great experiences with Riley Nelson and learned a lot from him as a leader.”
When Alisa finally hangs up his cleats and takes off that BYU helmet for the last time, he’ll take with him many memories and experiences that he’ll cherish throughout his life. In terms of what lesson he’ll most take away from his BYU experience: hard work.
“My favorite part about this game is that it teaches you to work hard,” said Alisa. “That would be the thing that I would take with me going into my career. For me personally it’s the bonds that I’ve built with these guys. I’ll never forget the friendships that I’ve made with these guys in the locker room and out on the field. There’s just something about playing football that makes you inseparable, and I’ll never forget that.”
As Michael Alisa runs out of the BYU tunnel at LaVell Edwards Stadium one last time, he’s surely to reflect upon the moment when he first did so as a freshman. Running out of the tunnel for the first time seared itself upon the heart and mind of Alisa to the point that this one experience has left a lasting endearment upon his heart.
“I think about my first time running out of that stadium and I was just an 18 year old freshman,” recalled Alisa. “I was just blown away and had chills. Just the fans there and the experiences I’ve had there it’s endured itself to me.”
Cougar Cam: Michael Alisa
Michael Alisa talks about his experiences at BYU and what stands out most to him over his career. He also talks about the things he'll take away from his BYU experiences and other related topics the deal with fellow teammates and personal experiences.