Playing For Two

Playing For Two

Jahleel Addae couldn't believe it, didn't want to believe it. He had to call his brother and hear it from him. Riverview (Fla.) High's standout running back came home from his own summer workout, and asked how his brother faired at his training camp practice with the Indianapolis Colts. His father sat him down and told him that Jahmile Addae collapsed at practice today, and was in the hospital.

What was real scary at first, ended up being a slightly easier situation to handle. Jahmile Addae, a former standout safety at West Virginia, told his brother he had an irregular heartbeat and had to hang up his helmet and cleats forever. Jahleel Addae, a junior, and one of the better running backs in the state of Florida, watched how his brother handled the situation with such a positive attitude, and responded just as well.

Jahmile got the bad news about his heart on Thursday, called about a job at Riverview on Friday, and was teaching reading and coaching football on the following Monday. He had a sideline view of his brother dominating on the football field this past season.

"It just made me want to go after it harder, because going after it as a kid, and watching my brother play at West Virginia and then try and make it in the NFL, I just want to do what he can't do anymore," Addae explained.

This past season, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Addae rushed for 1,051 yards and 15 touchdowns, helping lead Riverview to a 7-3 record. They just missed making the playoffs. Addae also returned three punts for scores, and is receiving mail from LSU, Auburn, South Florida, Florida, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State and Notre Dame.

"Jahleel is a visionary runner," Riverview head coach Dan O'Regan stated. "His vision is unbelievable. He can see things, and I can show you the film, he saw a kid from behind. I still don't know how he did that. Just unbelievable moves.

"The kid is a human highlight film. He makes moves, he makes people miss. When you are watching him on film, you are like why doesn't he tackle him, he‘s standing right next to him. He has decent speed (4.6), good hands, but it's his vision. This guy is uncanny. He makes so many people miss, he can cut on a dime. He is a joy to watch.

"His ability to change direction is some of the best I've ever seen, and I've coached for 23 years now. The only thing lacking on him is out and out speed."

Addae has attended the West Virginia summer camp since seventh grade. This past summer, he clocked a 4.58, and a 4.61 40-yard dash times. His max bench press is 245 pounds and his max squat is 425 pounds. O'Regan said that Addae and his 2.9 GPA has a verbal offer from West Virginia.

"Every school in the south has been contacting him, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama," O'Regan said. "I just sent film to South Carolina."

Addae rushed for 1,276 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore, playing a big role in Riverview's advancement to the second round of the state tournament. He also used to play soccer and run track, but Addae will give that up now and concentrate on just football.

Addae has seen the campuses at Georgia, South Florida and West Virginia. This summer he plans to attend three camps and check out universities. He wants to learn more about Notre Dame, and hopes the Irish coaches become more interested.

"Most schools have a great football program, but the education isn't up to par," Addae said. "At Notre Dame you can get a great education. The have great tradition, great fans, and that's somewhere I'd like to play."

In honor of his brother.

"He told me to keep my head up, and that it's my time to do it on the field," Addae said, reflecting back on that call he had with his brother. "And that he is going to support me to the fullest."

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