April 21, 2010
Safety Jahleel Addae ready to break out in 2010
Coming in as part of the 2008 Central Michigan recruiting class, Riverview High(FL) native Jahleel Addae had quite the reputation. Ranked as the No. 26 all-purpose back in the nation and spurning programs such as Iowa State and West Virginia to join the Chippewas. Huge expectations were placed on the three star Addae, but after a redshirt year as a freshman and positional changes from running back to wide receiver, Addae may have found his niche when he was again asked to change positions last, this time to safety.
"I love it," said Addae on his move to safety. "It's natural to me, my brother (Jahmile Addae) played safety at West Virginia, so it's in my blood."
As he began the transition into the secondary, Addae began to develop week by week last year and started to enter the playing mix. He would play in 14 games last year and accumulate 26 tackles and one forced fumble, and was especially productive in the Chippewas bowl victory against Troy when he had 7 tackles and a forced fumble. And he has built upon that performance, as this spring, Addae has been a staple in CMU's secondary and may earn the starting nod at safety.
"The coaching system has made it easy for me. They let me know what I'm doing wrong and they are really working with me. For the most part I watch film, critique what I can get better on, and then take that to the practice field" Addae said.
Despite the move from wide receiver to safety, Addae has had no second thoughts about the move.
"Nope, none. Safety is definitely the position for me and I feel like I can become a very good player there."
He has also shown the skills of being very physical, and has laid the wood numerous times during spring practice.
"I'm a big hitter, I've been laying out guys all spring," added Addae. "But I play the ball well also, as shown during the spring game when I had an interception."
Addae was then asked who he would compare his game to.
"My mentality I carry is a lot like Brian Dawkins, especially when I hit. My ball skills are like Ed Reed, that's the type of player I model myself after when making plays."
Comparing himself to two of the best safeties the NFL has ever seen may seem a little extreme, but Addae offers his explanation.
"I have to think like the best so I can be the best."
With a much bigger role this season, Addae also weighed in on the team's expectations in 2010.
"Expectations are the same as last year, very high," Addae said. "We want to be ranked in the top 25 again, be conference champs, go to a bowl game, and you know what, possibly get a BCS bowl. We always have high expectations at Central Michigan."
Praised by his defensive teammates for his impressive play during the spring, expect big things from Addae in 2010.
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