West Virginia senior safety Alonzo Addae has come a long way from when he was a freshman in college. Out of high school, the Ontario, Canada product went to the University of New Hampshire, where he appeared in 24 games.
In the summer of 2019, Addae made the transfer to West Virginia to help piece together a strong defense for head coach Neal Brown. Addae made an immediate impact for the Mountaineers, as he started all 10 games in the 2020 season. In the 2020 season, Addae averaged 6.6 tackles per game and added a pair of interceptions for the Mountaineers.
In May of 2021, Addae was selected 13th overall in the Canadian Football League draft by the Ottawa Redblacks. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Addae was able to retain his college eligibility to come back to West Virginia for one more season.
The West Virginia defense was one of the best in the country last season, but with key losses in the secondary, the 2021 defense became a question. Outside of a slightly sub-par performance against Maryland, the WVU defense has showed that they aren’t pushovers this year.
The West Virginia secondary is a mix of veterans and young talents, but Alonzo Addae is surely an anchor for the group at the safety position.
Addae met with the media on Tuesday and was asked to compare this year’s defense with the 2020 defense.
“I feel like we’re right along the same track. Obviously, there’s things we need to get better on every week, but I feel like we’re definitely on the right track,” Addae said.
In the last three games (Long Island, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma), WVU’s defense has only given up an average of just over 12 points per game, going two and one in that three-game stretch.
Addae credited some of the younger starters in the secondary and alluded to their skill sets, like Jackie Matthews and Daryl Porter.
“Jackie’s growth has been huge, everybody’s really proud of the steps that he’s taken,” Addae said. “Obviously, we expect for him to be a huge part of our defense.”
On Tuesday, Addae was asked about the confidence level from redshirt freshman Daryl Porter.
“As the season’s went on, he’s been able to still play with great confidence… he’s watching the film with Coach Brown and getting better each and every week,” Addae said.
Addae has made it a priority to watch more film so he can better prepare the defense for certain plays and alignments.
“It’s something that I tried to work on all throughout the offseason and obviously now carrying into the season, my growth as far as getting ahead of schedule and being able to be a coach on the field and get our guys ahead of schedule on things we should be expecting,” Addae said.
Through four games, Addae’s play has backed up what he said, as he has racked up 26 total tackles through the first four games of the season.
The addition of Alonzo Addae in the summer of 2019 was a huge success for Neal Brown’s staff, as Addae has proven to not only be a rock at the safety position, but also a proven leader for the next wave of defensive talent at WVU.
(Top Photo: Ben Queen)