The only criticism of Noland involves his straight-line speed, but if you'll recall that was the same knock on current Tech safety Chad Boyd when Boyd was coming out of Archbishop Shaw. Noland was timed in the 4.69 to 4.70 range at The Opening, while Boyd recorded a 4.67 at the 2007 Houston Nike Combine.
Noland doesn't have blazing speed but he flashes above-average dexterity, as evidenced by his 4.10 shuttle at The Opening. By comparison, Boyd clocked a 4.60 shuttle at the Houston Nike Combine. Of course, we've seen Boyd more than make up for a lack of elite speed by punishing ballcarriers and receivers. Everyone remembers Boyd teeing off on former LSU wide receiver Terrance Toliver a couple of years ago.
At this stage, Noland doesn't pack the power of a Chad Boyd, but in all fairness Boyd is the hardest hitter I've ever seen on the high school level. Noland and Boyd obviously don't have the same body type, with Noland having three or four inches on Boyd (who is in the 5-foot-10 range). Therefore, Noland's tremendous size is a big plus. Furthermore, he's extremely intelligent and charismatic. In short, Noland is a big safety who packs a solid wallop. He has all the intangibles.
It's telling that Noland won the DB MVP at the Houston Nike Football Training Camp, especially considering that he topped players such as four-star corner Darion Monroe of East St. John. Furthermore, Noland was one of only 150 prospects invited to The Opening. His companions from Louisiana? Five-star Landon Collins (Dutchtown), four-star Torshiro Davis (Woodlawn-SH) and three-star Lamar Louis (Breaux Bridge).
Noland's inclusion at The Opening shows that he's considered to be a special talent. He was chosen to participate at The Opening over a host of other prospects who are rated higher.
HereComeTheDawgs.com proffered a list of in-state safety rankings earlier this summer and Noland checked in at No. 3, behind only Collins and Quadry Antoine (Belle Chasse).
Last year, Noland notched 50 tackles and picked off three passes.