Close To Home

When the Mountaineers take on the University of South Florida on Saturday night, several members of the WVU football program will be playing close to home.

"I spent 15 years in Tampa, so it's always good to go back," said offensive coordinator Calvin Magee who played for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and later became an assistant coach at USF. "We do have a game to play, so I'm looking at it as a business trip. I'm going down there to try to do a job. I'm here to coach the best I can, and try to win some ball games, so that's what I'm going to try to do."

Magee certainly isn't the only coach or player with ties to the Tampa Bay area. Senior safety Jahmile Addae grew up in Valrico, which is a suburb of Tampa.

"You don't even have to hop, just skip," he said when asked if Valrico was a hop, skip, and a jump away from where the game would be played on Saturday night. "It's big to be going back home for my last game. It's a good opportunity for me to showcase what I've been working on for the last five years in front of people who have supported me and helped me get to this point. It's something I don't take lightly."

Playing his final college regular season game so close to his hometown means that Addae has had several ticket requests from friends and family. Players are only allowed a certain allotment though, so the all-Big East candidate says his hands are somewhat tied.

"I told them that if your last name's not Addae then I'm sorry," he said with a chuckle.

A neat storyline in regard to Addae is that when he played the final game of his high school career, it was in the very same Raymond James Stadium in which he will wrap up his Big East regular season career.

"It's kind of weird that I played my last high school game in that stadium, and one of my last college games," he said. "It's a nice stadium. I'm definitely looking forward to going back and playing in front of the hometown.

"Nothing's like playing at home, and when I say home I mean my newfound home here in West Virginia," noted Addae. "Obviously you like to go back and play in front of your hometown crowd though."

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Junior defensive lineman Pat Liebig hails from Naples, which is located just a little over two hours from Tampa.

"To drive up here it's like 16 hours. People who aren't in the family, like students at other schools and stuff, can't drive up here all the time. But to get to Tampa, it's only about a two hour drive," he said.

While he too is viewing this as a business trip, it'll be nice to look up into the stands and see a few familiar faces.

"It'll be good because I know a lot of people who will actually be able to go to the game. When we were at Miami a few years ago I had about 45 people in the stands," he recalled from his freshman campaign.

All told, no fewer than 11 current Mountaineers hail from the Sunshine State. For those players, no dobut, this weekend will be a little more special.

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