Unexpected Path

A lot has changed for Noel Devine since he arrived in Morgantown as a freshman in 2007. For starters, no one would have expected the senior, well to be exactly that, a senior.

"I think I shocked a lot of people by coming back, but you got to keep them on their toes," chuckled the Mountaineer running back recently. "God has a path laid out for me and I'm enjoying it and making the most of it."

The decision to return for his senior season did indeed come as a bit of a shock to the Mountaineer faithful, and Devine admitted that as a freshman, he did not see himself being a senior.

"I thought I would be here for three years and then be out," said the Ft. Myers, Fla., native, who will enter his senior season with 3,381 rushing career rushing yards, which is already the fifth-best mark in West Virginia history. "Now I see the bigger picture. It's not just about football; there's life after football."

Also returning with Devine for the 2010 season is fellow Mountaineer senior Jock Sanders, who many expected to declare for the NFL draft as well. Devine and Sanders decided to return to school in what can be viewed as a package deal.

"This is our last run at it. Words can't describe how excited we are," explained Devine. "We want to get our team at the best it can be and do everything correct to give ourselves a great chance."

Devine believes heavily in offseason development and has been pushing himself harder, as well as his teammates, so when practice starts this week, they will be the best they can be.

"The first goal is to get the team together, to get the offense as one," said Devine, who is 1,783 yards behind WVU's all-time leading career rusher, Avon Cobourne (1999-2002, 5,164 yards).

The running back also has personal goals for himself in the offseason.

"I want to correct the mistakes I made last year," said the sociology and anthropology major who is on track to earn his bachelor's degree this year. "I'm also working on getting bigger, faster and stronger."

Coming back his senior year, with plenty of hard work in the off season, hopefully will pay off for the Mountaineer playmaker.

"I just want to win the first game and then get on a roll," noted the humble Devine. "The Big East Championship and the national championship are always on the mind, though."


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