MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–In West Virginia’s season opener against Eastern Kentucky, Alonzo Addae made national waves with his SportsCenter Top 10 diving interception.
The play may have brought flashbacks to another Addae that was a defensive stud on the gridiron, current co-defensive coordinator Jahmile. Following in his cousin’s footsteps, Alonzo showed a similar energy that Jahmile brought in the early 2000’s.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound cornerback had seven tackles and one interception in his Mountaineer debut.
From a young age Alonzo was primed for success and was determined to succeed on the football field.
“Alonzo, he was always a kid who was always intrinsically motivated, always sending his tape, always asking for help and obviously being as far as he was, modern technologies allowed us to help him and coach him along the way,” Jahmile said. “From a young child, I can remember him calling and begging to have our games on tv and begging my uncle, his dad, to bring him up to come and watch. He just always had an infatuation with the game of football, which is somewhat rare coming from where he is coming from.”
Alonzo’s journey to Morgantown wasn’t the typical one.
“He continued to fight the fight,” Jahmile said. “If you know his story, there has been quite a few stops in between obviously, his younger years and here. Just following his story, I got a chance to see a few clips and I’m thinking this kid doesn’t just have the last name but he can actually go. He obviously had some displeasure in what was going on in the place he was at and decided to leave that situation and we were fortunate enough to have him and he’s worked his butt off not just when he got here but even prior to get to the spot. It’s pretty cool to see.”
Alonzo grew up in Pickering, Ontario, not the football capital of the world. He graduated from St. Mary’s where he had 10 interceptions and 43 tackles as a defensive back.
After high school Alonzo went to New Jersey where he attended prep school at Peddie before enrolling at New Hampshire and ultimately arriving in the Mountain State.
While Jahmile hasn’t specifically been working with Alonzo, he trusts his fellow coaches in making him the best he can be,
“Obviously, schematically we talk through some things but coach Wright has done a great job with him and it’s pretty cool to be able to turn a family member loose to what I consider a family member and have him work his magic,” Jahmile said. “Those two have done well. Hopefully they continue to get better as the season goes on.”
Cover Photo Credit: Ben Queen-USA Today Sports