Friday, 10 February 2012

Alouettes Sign Former West Virginia Star Noel Devine

According to Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Alouettes have signed former West Virginia University standout, Noel Devine.

With this signing Jim Popp may have solved the team's kick and punt return issues.

Devine had a solid four year career in Morgantown where he was apart of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl team led by then interim head coach Bill Stewart in routing the heavily favoured Oklahoma Sooners 48-28. In that game Devine subbed in for the injured Steve Slaton and had 108 rushing yards, on 13 carries for two touchdowns.

But his best season was his junior year in 2009 where he amassed 13 touchdowns, and 1465 rushing yards. Many thought he would have left for the NFL. But he came back for his senior year, where injuries derailed his season and he wasn’t a factor for the Mountaineers.

Devine had a tough up bringing losing both his parents at a young age, and becoming a father of two kids prior to joining the Mountaineers.

But he may be best known for his association with NFL hall of famer Deion Sanders. Both played at the same high school at North Fort Myers High School. Sanders started mentoring Devine, and he was in the process of filing legal papers in Texas to adopt him.

However, he abruptly left the family home and leaving Sanders SUV at the Dallas airport to go back to his hometown in Fort Myers, Florida.

After his collegiate career, Devine had a brief stay with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, and UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks.

What does Devine bring to this team?

Speed, he was a highly sought out by the premier schools such as Alabama, and Florida State, but opted for West Virginia due to their spread offense.

But his speed and ability to read his blocks well could be huge for a team looking for a dynamic playmaker. There’s no denying his God given talent, but it is a matter of whether or not he will apply it with force.

The one question that Devine will have entering training camp is he mentally checked in to be apart of a football team.

According to NBC’s Profootballtalk report, Devine quit on the Eagles after a few days in training camp. Factor the incident of leaving Sanders family, could Popp and Marc Trestman have a plan in place?

If they do, maybe they consider having one of the new leaders take Devine under their wing. That teammate could potentially relate to Devine and the struggles he has experienced growing up so he could have someone to lean on just in-case he needs to converse.

In the meantime, come June, it will be Devine’s time to shine, and show why he was one of the premier high school players, and dynamic college player in the last few years.

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