The Philadelphia Eagles announced today that they've agreed to terms with undrafted free agent running back Noel Devine from West Virginia. It had been rumored for most of the day that Devine had agreed to a deal with the Falcons, but that turned out to be completely erroneous. He becomes the third back out of the Big East that the Eagles have added to their roster in the last two years (LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis from Pitt being the others).
Devine is a small guy at 5-8, 180 pounds, but he had an incredibly productive college career rushing for 4,315 yards (only the 4th Big East player to rush for over 4,000 yards) and 29 TDs at 5.9 yards a clip. He also returned two punts for TDs and is a good pass catcher. He had a off senior season thanks to injuries (still pretty good), but he really is a bit of a physical freak. Despite his size, he's benched 435 pounds and run a 4.35 40.
He's led an almost impossibly tough life. Both of his parents died of AIDS when he was just a child. He bounced around from different family members and family friends, has seen friends murdered in front of him... However, his story caught the eye of Deion Sanders because he went to high school at Primetime's alma mater, North Fort Myers High. Sanders took him under his wing and even was the kids' legal guardian for a time. He's remained a mentor and an adviser to Devine ever since. I gotta say, reading about this made me like Deion quite a bit.
His size certainly makes him a question mark in the NFL, but he is absolutely a playmaker. You can never have enough guys that are flat out dangerous with the ball on your team and when you've got 90 roster spots to fill, high upside guys like Devine are a no brainer. His experience in punts and kickoffs could certainly help him find a spot on the roster.