The journey through the recruiting process is quite different for a blue-chip special teams prospect than a blue-chip athlete or lineman. Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian senior Devin Noth looked from coast-to-coast for a college that could use his long snapping services. At one point it looked like he might be headed to Indiana State on scholarship, but in the end, it came down to preferred walk-on opportunities at Colorado, Cal-Berkeley and Oregon State.
“CU is close to home, I have the utmost respect for [head] coach [Mike] Mike MacIntyre and [quality control special teams] coach [Matt] Thompson,” he said. “I like what they are doing with the team and I just couldn't see a better fit than CU.”
After some long conversations about it with his family, Noth announced his decision to be a Buff on Jan. 30.
“Education wise, CU is a place that definitely has what I am looking for. I got into the school of Engineering to major in Computer Science. And there are some minors I am looking at, I am looking at possibly going into something with Music Technology,” said Noth, who maintains a 4.17 GPA.
“Coach Thompson helps run the special teams by working with the kickers, punters and snappers at CU and he was mainly recruiting me so it was good to be able to talk to the guy that will be coaching me when I get there. I love the fact at CU they try to improve you as a football player but they also look at you as a person. They build a relationship and try to help you out in life and academically because professional football isn't going to happen for everyone.”
Noth grew up playing basketball and baseball, and he began long snapping when he got into football in fifth grade.
“But I didn't really become serious until the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school,” he recapped. “That is when I began working with Chris Rubio's long snapping program. It always came naturally for me but he is the one that really taught me up to where I am now. He really showed me how I could improve my form.”
Noth kept moving up Rubio's rankings and he settled in as the nation's sixth best long snapper prospect from the Class of 2017. Rubio gave Noth rave reviews for his performance at the Las Vegas camp last month, after he had already made his college decision.
“It was his biggest stage to shine and he truly did. I have never seen him so focused or dialed in. Snapped with the utmost confidence and he left no doubt he was a five-star Rubio Long Snapper,” Rubio wrote on his website. “The upside on Noth is off the charts. Moves like a cheetah, and is getting bigger by the second. Spiral is getting locked down. Kid is ready for college right now.”
After putting on 10 pounds this year, Noth now stands 6-foot-3, 205-pounds. Colorado wants him to stay athletic so he can get down the field and help on punt coverage.
“Some colleges are looking for a huge guy that can stay in there and block after he snaps, but CU is definitely looking at me to get down and see if I can make a tackle or at least lead a teammate into a tackle after the other team recovers the punt,” he said. “I feel with my body size, I am kind of long and lanky, that will be able to pack on a little muscle but still be able to move and help out in that regard.”
When he enrolls at CU this summer, Noth will begin competing with J.T. Bale, who handled every snap on the punt team and field goal/PAT unit for the Buffaloes in 2016.