WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — He was arguably the most explosive, most exciting football players in Central Georgia in 2020.
Jalen Addie, of the state champion Warner Robins Demons football team, put the state on notice his senior year.
Before 2020, a 2200 yard passing, 1500 yard rushing, 38 total touchdown senior season capped off with a state championship and an MVP performance, Jalen Addie, like any kid, had to grow.
"Getting his work ethic to where it needed to be for him to take the reigns," said Marquis Westbrook, Warner Robins head coach. "He wasn't where he needed to be coming off of his sophomore year. I don't think he knew what all it entailed, mentally and physically."
As a sophomore, Addie played receiver. He stepped into the starting quarterback role as a junior after Dylan Fromm led Warner Robins to two state championship appearances and 7800 career passing yards.
"I always looked up to Dylan. We were two different types of players," Addie said. "I just got the receivers and we adjusted to what type of game we were going to be playing because we're two different types of players. We all got on the same page and once we get on the same page. We're hard to beat."
Hard to stop is right. Addie led the way to a 13-2 year as a junior with the only major bump in the road being the end, a state championship loss. It was Warner Robins third straight championship loss.
It's no secret that the Demons stepped into 2021 on a mission, finish the drill. However a pandemic added on to the pressure of a return trip to finals. Addie knew it would start with him.
"We had to take advantage of what we got. We couldn't be in the weight room, we couldn't be in meetings for too long. We couldn't be in the locker room for too long. We had to take all the small amounts of time, take advantage of them," he said.
Addie led the Demons to a 9-1 regular season with 1944 yards passing, 947 yards rushing and accounted for 32 touchdowns. The Demons cruised through the playoffs. Addie had 1300 total yards and 21 touchdowns in the playoffs alone and he capped it off with the ultimate prize, a state championship.
He said he took all the noise outside of the locker room about Warner Robins odds against Cartersville personally.
"I took the we couldn't run against them or we might lose against them. We lost three years straight, we're going to choke, I kept all that in the back of my head and thinking I had something to prove," Addie said.
He only had four college offers before that game and was underrated much of the season. 366 total yards and six touchdowns in the state championship proved the ultimate point.
"He set the state on fire this year man, with his legs, with his arms, with his leadership, and he put them on notice," Westbrook said.
"Losing to Buford last year. I was like, 'This is my year. This is our year. I'm gonna put the team on my back and we're gonna go win this thing'," Addie said.
He's cemented his legacy in Warner Robins history.
Addie's championship performance earned him MVP honors. He recently picked up an offer from Morehouse College and said this phenomenal year would never have happened without his teammates and especially his offensive line.