MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — There’s a new “old man” in the WVU football locker room.
Sixth-year senior defensive back Alonzo Addae is embracing his role as a seasoned veteran, even though he’s only in his third year at WVU.
After redshirting in 2019 after transferring in from New Hampshire, Addae earned All-Big 12 Second Team status in his first season as a starter for WVU, finishing second on the roster in tackles behind linebacker Tony Fields II.
Fields recently completed his pro day, and will likely wind up on a pro roster after the NFL Draft. Addae wants to use his bonus year of eligibility to elevate his game to that level.
“Having the extra year to put more on film and take my game to another level was a big part of my decision coming back,” Addae said.
The native of Pickering, Ontario, Canada isn’t just one of the oldest guys in the locker room — he’s also the only Addae left on the roster. His cousin, former defensive assistant Jahmile Addae, is now the defensive backs coach at Georgia.
“It’s a different feel. I miss family always, but I’m happy for him and his endeavors, and what he felt like was best for him,” Addae said.
But in a sense, Alonzo plans to pick up where Jahmile left off, by using his experience to help younger players at his position grow.
“I feel like it’s great for me to be able to give back to the program,” Addae said. “West Virginia has done so much for me, so being able to pour my knowledge and experience into the younger guys and get them ready for years to come.”
Despite those departures, Addae and the Mountaineers still want to play the same brand of football that ranked No. 1 in total defense last season among Power 5 programs.
“Our expectations are still higher,” Addae said. “We’re still looking to build off what we did last year. For me personally, I’m looking to be that glue, make sure that everybody knows what they need to be doing, so when we go out here for game days, everybody’s on the same page and we can execute.”
Addae added that there are other veterans on the roster who are ready to step in. Redshirt senior safety Scottie Young is poised for a breakout season after appearing in the Liberty Bowl, and junior college transfer Jackie Matthews appeared in all 10 games last season.
Then, there’s West Virginia native Kerry Martin Jr., who opted out last season after a promising campaign as a redshirt freshman in 2019.
“Kerry looks great,” Addae said. “Kerry came back hungry, ready to play. Knowledge of the game is still there. The repetitions are helping him. Excited to see what KJ will do this fall.”