Evangel Christian DE Nii Addy flourishes in 8-man high school football – Montgomery Advertiser

The ultimate goal for Evangel Christian football, according to coach Darius Dixon, is to field an 11-man team once again.
For now, the Lions are one of six AISA schools playing eight-man football, with 2022 being the first season the association has sponsored the variation. And after a successful 2021 season, ECA enters as one of the favorites.
That’s in large part because the Lions have the type of player eight-man teams, or AISA teams in general, seldom have — a legitimate Division I recruit.
Nii Addy, a senior defensive end, currently holds offers from Arkansas State, Liberty, Toledo, Tulane, Western Kentucky and Alabama State. Duke also has shown interest in the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, who had 53 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 2021.
“He’s a big talent,” Dixon said. “A lot of schools have come to check him out.”
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Addy’s been at Evangel since his eighth-grade year. The Lions didn’t field a team in 2019, his freshman season, but went 4-3 in their first season of eight-man in 2020. Last season, they went 7-3 and advanced to the championship game of the Alabama Christian Education Association. 
Eight-man football is played on a field 40 yards wide, compared to the 53⅓-yard-wide field used in 11-man. Teams must have five players on the line of scrimmage, and the players on either end are eligible receivers.
While Addy said people have questioned his production due to the format, he thinks that eight-man football is, in many respects, more challenging than 11-man. That’s especially true for defenders, as having fewer players on the field creates more space, rewards a wide-open offensive style and results in higher scores. Evangel gave up just 19.7 points per game last season, the best of any eight-man team in Alabama.
“You have to be able to cover ground, you have to be able to play your assignment,” Addy said. “You’ve got to be able to rely on your teammates and not just yourself.”
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Addy doesn’t let where he plays affect his confidence when it comes to his college prospects. He works out at Madhouse Athletic Training, like many other top Montgomery-area recruits, such as G.W. Carver’s James Smith and Jaquavious Russaw. He has the size and strength to stand out at any level.
Ultimately, Addy thinks college coaches can overcome whatever doubts they may have.
“I know some coaches are probably worried about me transferring from eight-man … but I feel like as a player that I’m capable of doing anything I put my mind to,” Addy said. “That’s why I work hard every single day.”
Jacob Shames can be reached by email at [email protected], by phone at 334-201-9117 and on Twitter @Jacob_Shames


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