West Virginia Players Feel Disrespected

Morgantown, West Virginia – Jahmile Addae, the Co-Defensive Coordinator for the West Virginia Mountaineers, posted an interesting message on social media yesterday.  The post showed that the Mountaineers were the #1 pass defense and the #1 overall defense in the Big 12 Conference this season, despite facing numerous challenges.

Among the challenges that the West Virginia defense faced this season were the following:

  • New Coach/First time Coordinating
  • No returning starters
  • Inexperienced/young group
  • No depth at defensive back

Addae didn’t even mention that the team’s defensive coordinator “mutually separated” with West Virginia University in the middle of the offseason.  Despite facing all of these challenges, West Virginia’s defense was exceptional.  

This West Virginia defense – the same defense that was so inexperienced, so young, that had very little depth and was coached by a coordinator who was brand new to the position – was the 5th best defense in the entire country in yards per game given up at 297.2 yards per game.

All this and only Darius Stills and Tony Fields II made first team All Big 12 and Akheem Mesidor and Alonzo Addae were named second team All Big 12 on the defensive side of the ball.  Dreshun Miller, Jeffery Pooler, Jr., Dante Stills and Tykee Smith were named defensive honorable mention.

Tykee Smith, who was named one of the most impressive secondary defenders in the entire country, was one of the most embarrassing omissions in a very long time.  Smith finished the season as one of the highest-graded defensive backs, according to PFF College Football and is a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back.

Smith, who has every right in the world to be incredibly upset, has instead chosen to take the high road and use this obvious snub as motivation.  Smith posted the following message after learning about his “honorable mention”:

Junior defensive lineman Dante Stills also felt that he was not recognized for his performance this season.  Stills, who had 31 total tackles (13 solo, 18 assisted) and 2 sacks in nine games this season, also appeared to use the disrespect as an incentive to come back to West Virginia and be even more productive as a senior next season.

While the West Virginia defense was not given the credit they deserved this season, they will be back and better than ever next season, fueled by the lack of respect they were shown.

The Mountaineers will be more experienced, even more talented and more hungry than ever when they return to the field in 2021.