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'07 FL RB Noel Devine (West Virginia signee)


Hear The Drummer Get Wicked
Staff member

North Fort Myers HS
North Fort Myers, FL
HT: 5'8"
WT: 180
40: 4.35

I found this on the recruiting board at BN. The screen play he takes to the house is one of the better runs I think I've ever seen, certainly at the HS level. Any word on this kid, HH?

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Devine is now on ESPN

The kid's name is Noel Devine, and up 'til about two weeks ago, he was a little-known prep tailback from southwest Florida. Sure, the people around the town of Fort Myers knew of him. After all, Devine had built up quite a rep running wild in Pop Warner ball for the Cape Coral Junior Dolphins smashing touchdown records, evoking comparisons to Fort Myers' original game-breaker, Deion Sanders.

Last fall, the 5-foot-7, 170-pound freshman also had quite a varsity debut for North Fort Myers High, rushing for 1,092 yards (over 9 yards per carry). However, five months after the season ended, Devine's rep has really taken off.

Why? An eye-popping six-minute highlight package of Devine's best runs surfaced on the web a few weeks ago, and his moves -- particularly on an 80-yard catch-and-run where he broke 10 tackles thanks in part to a trio of 360-spins -- had fans posting links to the video on college sites all across the country.

The reactions were pretty similar: "Unreal ? He's another Barry Sanders ? WOW!! ? Hope our coaches have seen this."

Ah, the wonders of the web. Last time we saw this kind of grass roots Internet buzz was when the X-rated Paris Hilton video made the rounds. Devine's video was courtesy of Tampa-based Sunshine Preps, an independent recruiting service run by 29-year-old Derek Williams, a finance consultant who created the free site to help Florida kids get noticed. Mission accomplished.

Less than two weeks after Williams posted a "Hey, check this out" link on a local bulletin board to Devine's highlight reel, his site was getting hammered. "I think we had 20,000 hits one day and my website lady called and said she had to take the video down because it crashed the site," says Williams.

For the skeptics out there, Devine's performance did come against solid competition. (North Fort Myers is not only Sanders' alma mater, but Jevon Kearse's as well.) As the video shows Devine has outstanding balance, quickness and speed (he's a 10.7 100-meter man already). His coach James Iandoli, who also coached one-time Florida phenom Willie Green at Kissimmee Osceola, reports that Devine even benches 330 pounds. Iandoli says the thing that really catches his eye though is how Devine runs with such a forward lean and cuts "downhill." Still, the coach admits he's leery about his young back's sudden celebrity. "People have been calling him 'The Next Deion' for awhile," he says. "He's a good kid. I just hope he can manage it all."
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The guy who wasn't big enough to make an impact on Gaither's football team in 1994 realized he didn't stand out when it mattered a whole lot more.
Three years ago, Derek Williams sat in Durant's stands and brainstormed what would become Sunshine Preps. Next thing Williams knew, he was sending videotapes crammed with Florida football players to colleges.

But was he really reaching them?

``I had a lot of coaches tell me this is good stuff,'' Williams said, ``but a lot of times they'll get a tape and they'll watch it one time, and it's hard to pick up where it left off or often times if they're not sure what's on the tape they're not going to spend the time popping the tape in to see what it is.''

Sunshine Preps used the feedback to evolve into what Williams envisions as the future of high school recruiting.

Through sunshinepreps.net, players can have their highlight clips posted in a directory. For free. And coaches can view the directory of highlight clips. For free.

``My golden rule is I will never, ever charge a kid for what I do,'' said Williams, who spent about $1,500 the first year and estimates a $700 cost this year. ``There's no way. If I ever make money it will be either through the college coaches or through advertising or something. Absolutely never will I charge a kid for what I do.''

`Absolutely True'

Free is the key word with high school coaches, a naturally skeptical group because of services trying to make money off their players. But Williams has been able to establish himself as one of the good guys.

Because Williams comes to coaches to get film and does the editing himself, former Freedom coach Jarrett Laws said he had no problem working with Sunshine Preps.

It didn't take long for Law to become a believer.

``Anything positive you can write about Derek is absolutely true,'' Laws said. ``If I were a kid going through the recruiting process, if there was anyone I was going to trust, it would be Derek.''

Middleton coach Harry Hubbard said Sunshine Preps helped not just his current players but future ones as well.

Because the school is only entering its third year, it was not listed on some college coaches' registries. Several coaches told Hubbard they learned of the school through Sunshine Preps.

``I think it's a great idea,'' Hubbard said. ``A lot of kids I've known through the years in Hillsborough County have been looked over because scouts didn't know of them. If it's free, then every kid who thinks he can play ball should get every opportunity to be seen.''

Williams, who works full- time in finance, said he will put a clip on his Web site if a recruit looks like he has a chance to find a place to play. .

And the most unique part about Williams' site is many of the players featured have no idea.

When Williams searches through game tape, if he sees a player who impresses him, he will place a clip on the site.

``I can guarantee you more than half of the kids on the site, they have no idea those clips are even up there,'' he said.

Devine Intervention

Sunshine Preps' biggest fervor came from a clip Williams pulled on his own.

While watching North Fort Myers' 2003 season highlight tape sent by one of the coaches, Williams came across a sensational running back.

Knowing the Red Knights didn't have any 2004 top prospects, Williams scoured the list of 2005 prospects looking for No. 7.

``This kid was as good as anything I've ever seen,'' he thought to himself. ``Where is he?''

The coach had a reasonable explanation: ``That kid's not on the list because he's a freshman.''

Williams shared his amazement and a link with floridavarsity.com message board readers.

Clips otherwise are not viewable to the public.

``That thing got spread around the Internet like wildfire,'' he said.

``I had 20,000 hits on my Web site.''

It even spread to ESPN.com writer Bruce Feldman, who wrote a story on the phenomenon.

Running back Noel Devine's legend, once confined to southwest Florida, reached college message boards across the country, with Web posters already hoping their schools' coaches would offer a scholarship.

All of it was linked to Sunshine Preps.

``It makes for a good story, but the No. 1 and really the only goal for this is to help kids get scholarships,'' Williams said. ``Everything else after that is what it is. I'm just along for the ride. This is already starting to become the premier recruiting tool for college coaches.

``It's blown up, but it's not even close. I want every high school in the state to know that my service is out there for them to use. Slowly but surely it will get there. When that happens it's going to eliminate a lot of the garbage that goes on.''

It also might create a whole new era in recruiting.

``It's kind of a win-win situation all the way around,'' Williams said. ``The kids get helped out and the college recruiters, it helps them out quite a bit. And I have a good time.''
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His videos were insane. Taken with a grain of salt or with the entire salt flats of Nevada, this kid is sick. I don't know what the competition level is, but averaging 20 yards a carry and showcasing moves like those in the videos would be impressive even if he was playing against Sisters of the Poor and Blind.
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Folanator said:
It is the single best piece of film I have seen since the O Center that went to USC last year from Colorado.

See if you can find the video for Noel Devine that went around a few months ago.. that was AMAZING... on he was only a freshman in it. Easily the best I have ever seen.

That said, Stewart definately passses any look test, and his video is indeed sick... hopefully things work out there.

Edit - just realized there was already mention on this thread about good old Noel. My bad.
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Not sure you can talk about those Noel Devine videos too much. I STILL compare most videos I see to those. They were flat out sick!! I know more people will be talking about this kid in two years and PRAYING that he gives their school a verbal. Insane!
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