In 2006, the name Noel Devine burst onto the scene, and all over the internet, when videos of the high school running back flooded YouTube as the young phenom rose to widespread prominence.
During his sophomore year at North Fort Myers High School, Devine ran for a ridiculous 365 yards and six touchdowns in a single game on just nine carries. Devine ran for a Lee County, Florida record 92 touchdowns during his high school career, and was ranked as the nation’s 3rd best running back by ESPN.
Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders aka ‘Prime Time’ was a guardian and mentor for Devine during his teenage years and it was largely assumed that the youngster would attend Sanders’ alma mater, Florida State University. But Devine decided to go against the wishes of ole ‘Prime Time’ as he signed on to become a Mountaineer at West Virginia University, where he would spend the entirety of his college career.
Devine showcased his extensive athletic abilities during his first three seasons, which included a truly outstanding junior year where he ran for a total of 1,465 yards and 13 touchdowns. Unfortunately for Devine, an ankle injury devastated his senior season and his draft-stock plummeted.
Due to Devine’s microscopic 5′ 8″, 175 pound frame and escape-heavy running style, his projected draft status was always in question when putting NFL players’ mammoth size into consideration. Devine’s draft-stock was also affected by lingering questions about his character and attitude.
After bypassing the NFL Combine because of injury, Devine was not selected in the 2011 NFL Draft but was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent immediately afterwards.
Devine decided to inexplicably walk out of the Eagles’ training camp very early on, apparently because of a lack of touches in the very crowded running back corps.
The reason I delegated most of this article towards highlighting Devine’s career is because he could thrive in a huge way as a weapon in Eagles head coach Chip Kelly’s spread offense. Devine possesses the insane speed and escapability necessary to play at a high level as a running back or slot receiver in this system.
If the Eagles considered courting Devine again, and forgiving him for his departure, he could serve as an incredibly versatile and effective offensive input.
And don’t worry, Chip, I don’t think it should be too hard to lure him away from the always intriguing and relevant Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
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