One season in the old gold and blue was not enough for Alonzo Addae. The red-shirt senior safety announced last week that he intends to return to West Virginia in 2021, taking advantage of the blanket eligibility waiver the NCAA passed for all players this season.
While the Mountaineers prepare to take on Army in the Liberty Bowl on Thursday, Addae explained his decision to return next season.
“Since I left Canada four or five years ago, I’ve always dreamed of playing in the NFL. I felt like this season for me was a blessing, but I definitely have things I need to work on more and improve on, both on the field and off the field,” Addae explained. “Having the ability to start my masters degree is huge for me, that’s something I’ll be able to take with me for the rest of my life. On the football field, there’s things this year that I felt I could definitely improve a lot in my game and I feel it will show.”
The Ontario, Canada native transferred to WVU from New Hampshire. before last season. He had to sit out all of the 2019 season to fulfill his transfer requirements and made a splash in his first season playing in Morgantown this season. Addae is tied for second on the team with 61 total tackles, two interceptions and five pass deflections. He was named to the All-Big 12 second-team following the end of the regular season.
“It meant a lot, this year being my first year [playing] at West Virginia,” Addae said of the all-conference honor. “Having to sit out last year, the game was taken away from me. I put in the work to reach goals like this. To be honest, I wanted to achieve goals higher than [All-Big 12 second team]. That’s part of my decision in coming back, trying to go and do more.”
Beyond football, Addae said he will use the extra year of eligibility to begin pursuing a masters degree in sports management.
“That’s something that, even in high school, I had a passion for,” Addae said. “[I would] still be involved in the sports industry, but more on the business side of things is where I’m headed.”
Addae and placekicker Evan Staley are the only WVU seniors that have announced they will be returning for their extra year of eligibility in 2021. on Sunday, WVU coach Neal Brown said he is expecting three of four more seniors to also return, but will be letting them announce their decisions themselves.
Addae and the rest of the Mountaineers will take on the Army Black Knights when the AutoZone Liberty Bowl kicks off at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31 in Memphis, Tennessee. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.