Notes: First name is pronounced "no-EL." Has three children. Amassed 6,846 career yards and 92 touchdowns as a Florida prep. Was suspended two games as a senior for his involvement in a school altercation, and was suspended five days from class and prevented from participating in an all-star game after cussing out his coach following a playoff loss. The AIDS disease claimed the lives of both of his parents before Noel turned 12. As a true freshman in '07, played all 12 games and carried 73 times for 627 yards (8.6-yard average) and six touchdowns with seven receptions for 90 yards (12.9) and no scores in an offense featuring Texans 2008 third-rounder Steve Slaton and Dolphins '09 second-rounder Pat White. Also returned 22 kickoffs for 511 yards (23.2). Was arrested and charged with battery in February '08 when he and teammates allegedly beat up two students outside of a Morgantown club. (Devine claimed one of the men threatened his life multiple times.) Ultimately pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a $250 fine and 24 hours in jail, which was suspended in lieu of community service. The featured back in the fall, he started 12-of-13 games and piled up 206-1,289-4 (6.3) on the ground with 35-185-0 (5.3) receiving. Also returned kickoffs 3-63 (21.0). Sat out the first quarter against South Florida (reportedly for returning late from a brief trip home). Started 10-of-13 games in '09, producing 241-1,465-13 (6.1) on the ground with 22-177-1 (8.0) out of the backfield and 5-100 (20.0) on kickoff returns. Started 10-of-13 games in '10 - totaled 208-934-6 (4.5) rushing with 34-258-1 (7.6) receiving and 4-62 (15.5) on kickoff returns. Suffered a bone bruise to his right big toe against LSU that hampered him the remainder of the season. His 5,761 career all-purpose yards rank first in WVU history. Team captain. Was medically excluded from working out at the Combine because of ankle and fibula injuries.
Positives: Exceptional weight-room strength - can squat a small house and pound for pound is one of the strongest backs in the draft. Exceptionally productive, and displayed a knack for the big play - has 36 career runs of 25 yards or more. Quick-footed with outstanding balance. Good vision, patience and short-area burst. Jump-cuts, changes gears and squirts through creases. Versatile - catches naturally and can return kicks. Mentally tough.
Negatives: Marginal size (weighed in at 160 pounds at the Senior Bowl) and is not built to grind between the tackles at the next level. Is not a burner and lacks speed to pull away from the pack (can be tracked down). Limited leg extension. Takes some losses trying to make something out of nothing. Fumbled 11 times his final three seasons. Durability is a concern - was dinged as a senior and could struggle to stay healthy in a big man's game. Character and maturity need to be investigated - checkered past with rough upbringing.
Summary: Devine's stock took a hit during his senior season, as evaluators did not see special traits worth justifying an investment in such a diminutive back. His injury did nothing to quell concerns about his fragility. Will have to stay healthy and carve a niche as a change-of-pace back and return specialist, although his size alone will knock him off many draft boards.