Noel Devine was the most hyped recruit in the history of West Virginia University, and that includes Robert Alexander and
Jason Gwaltney. Needless to say, so far, he has lived up to every bit of that hype, both on and off the field.
It’s tough to find anyone in the local or national media NOT loving Noel Devine. This is good for my WVU football perma-erection. Here is what Stewart Mandel has to say in his latest blog:
4) That Noel Devine is all that. It’s always interesting how some freshmen take longer than others to adjust to college. Among the nation’s elite recruits last February, USC signee Joe McKnight was the one expected to have the most immediate impact. Trojans practice observers are convinced McKnight will eventually deliver on his Reggie Bush-like promise, but so far he’s off to a rough start, injuring a knee ligament in preseason camp and mostly struggling in his limited on-field appearances so far. (Saturday night against Nebraska he had one carry for 5 yards and dropped an easy catch.) Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said afterward McKnight’s freshman season hasn’t been all that different so far from Bush’s, who didn’t truly begin making an impact until later in the year. “We need to do a better job of giving him more easy opportunities,” said Sarksian.
West Virginia’s Devine, on the other hand, has wasted no time making his presence felt. After using him sparingly in the Mountaineers’ first two games, coach Rich Rodriguez unleashed the former YouTube sensation in Thursday night’s nationally televised 31-14 win over Maryland, and while the Terps’ defense did an admirable job against WVU stars Pat White and Steve Slaton (holding them to a combined 159 yards on 37 attempts), they had no answer for the electrifying freshman Devine, who burst for runs of 76 and 31 yards and finished with 136 yards on just five carries. Devine’s recruiting stock slipped last winter because so many schools backed off him due to his academic and character concerns. I have not the foggiest idea how he’s doing in Morgantown academically and socially; football-wise, however, he’s already well ahead of the curve.
Be afraid. Be very very afraid. Actually, just go ahead and forfeit. At least it won’t be as messy as what White + Slaton + Devine + Schmitt + Reynaud have in store for you.