Jahmile Addae. Credit: MSNSportsnet.com
Our 12 Days Countdown to Kickoff continues with #4 Jahmile Addae.
Hometown: Valrico, FL
Record: 39-22, Bowl Record: 1-3 including a BCS win
Jahmile Addae was one of the hardest hitting safeties to play for the old gold and blue. Addae was excited about the possibility to play in Coach Casteel’s 3-3-5 odd stack defense. He knew that with three safeties on the field at all times, his chances of early playing time were exceptional. Following a freshman season of special teams play, Addae earned a starting safety spot for the Mountaineers. He provided solid deep pass coverage but really excelled in run support. Things looked bright for Addae coming into the 2003 season. Unfortunately, Addae would suffer a season-ending shoulder injury that forced him to take a medical redshirt. Many were skeptical that Addae would still be the same punishing hitter that he was prior to his shoulder injury. He silenced the doubters with one massive hit against the Hokies. Addae would have a successful 2004 campaign, stacking up 59 tackles, 4 pass break ups, and two interceptions. Addae‘s senior season was great not just for him, but also for the Mountaineers defense. The WVU defense was loaded with talent (Wiley, Gyorko, Lorello, McLee, Addae, etc) and primed to make it to a BCS game. Addae would quarterback the WVU defense to a 10-1 regular season. Addae culminated his college career with a solid performance in the 2006 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia (5 tackles). Addae’s career totals are 253 tackles, 27 pass break ups, 8 interceptions, and two touchdowns. While Addae was a really talented safety that was named All-Big East twice (2004, 2005, it still remains to be seen if he will make the WVU Sports Hall of Fame. He is certainly not a lock for selection, but he should at least be on the bubble.
Memorable Game: Addae showed off his big play potential in his last home game at Milan Puskar Stadium, in the 2005 edition of the Backyard Brawl. The Mountaineers were looking for revenge against a Pitt squad that narrowly beat them year before. West Virginia was pursuing their first ever BCS berth and were not going to let the Panthers stand in their way. The Thanksgiving time game was frigid, with temperatures reported near 7-degrees Fahrenheit. Both teams surprisingly started hot, trading scores en route to a 14-13 Mountaineers lead late in the second quarter. West Virginia’s defense then put a strangle-hold on the Panthers offense, keeping Pitt scoreless the rest of the game. Slaton and White piled on points to give WVU a big lead late in the game. Addae would put the final nail in Pitt’s coffin with a 40 interception return for a touchdown. WVU cruised by Pitt 45-13.
Competition: Other players that were under consideration for this selection included Steve Grant, Puppy Wright (who wore #1 as a senior), and Wes Lyons.
Teaser: The player selected at #3 hails from the West Virginia steel town of Weirton. This player is fondly remembered by his nickname “Weirton Steel.” He was a quick, hard-nosed runner that truly looked like WVU’s own man of steel.