Is Noel Devine the Nation's Top Junior?

Some have already anointed Jimmy Clausen the #1 Prospect in the Class of 2007, but those that make up the "some" are going to be hard pressed to convince me there is a better player in the high school ranks than North Fort Myers' Noel Devine.

5-8/180 pounds of Noel Devine has been an internet legend since his freshman highlights started surfacing two years ago on the internet. There were reactions of disbelief; there were reactions of awe. 

His junior tape is nothing short of extraordinary. The Class of 2007 marks my fifth class of scouting in the field, and this is the best high school player I've seen.

There is speed, and then there is Noel Devine. Some players can accelerate out of cuts to show their cat-like quickness; Devine actually accelerates through his cuts. I've never seen a player continue to get faster while he is changing directions. Devine makes would be tacklers look like their running up hill, while he is slalom skiing down hill between them. 

Speed is great, but it's only part of the equation. His ability to accelerate from multiple body positions shows tremendous balance. That balance comes in handy while shedding tackles as well. Devine isn't just about speed and change of direction. He has uncanny balance and is nearly impossible to bring down even if a defender, or two, or three, is lucky enough to make contact.

If this was Sony PlayStation, I'd institute a "Noel Devine" Rule.... No one can use Noel Devine, because the programmers exaggerated his talent and he's too good for the game.

Devine swept through the competition as a junior. He rushed for 1,933 yards and 24 touchdowns on 173 carries. Interestingly enough, Devine never carried the ball more than 20 times as a junior, including a signature 398 yard performance against Bishop Verot.

Devine may not end up being the best back in college, but if there's a better high school player in the country than Noel Devine, I haven't seen him.

#7 RB Noel Devine - JR

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