25 Mar 2014 04:04 PM EST
-by Robert Brewer, Contributing Writer; Image: Noel Devine rushed for over 4,000 yards as a Mountaineer. (Image Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
After graduating from West Virginia University in 2011, 5-foot-6 inch speedster Noel Devine has had brief stints with the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), the Omaha Nighthawks (UFL), and the Montreal Alouettes (CFL). At age 26, Devine knows that his window of opportunity to make an impact in professional football is closing quickly.
With his professional career hanging in the balance, Devine put on an excellent performance at West Virginia University's pro day on March 21st. He was the fastest player at the pro day and was clocked at a blistering 4.25 in the 40-yard dash according to WVUpros.com.
In total, 13 NFL teams were confirmed to be in attendance for West Virginia's pro day, including the New York Jets. New York's special teams unit in 2013 was far from special, as they did not produce a single kick return or a punt return for a touchdown all season. Josh Cribbs, the former special teams standout for the Cleveland Browns, did not provide much of a spark for the Jets, which opens the door for GM John Idzik to go in a different direction.
It will be interesting to see if New York will make a play for Devine, who has had kick and punt return experience in the CFL and in college. Not only did Devine showcase his outstanding straight-line speed, but he also performed well in shuttle and 3-cone drills, displaying his NFL-caliber quickness and agility. Whether or not New York takes a chance on Devine, one thing remains clear: the diminutive back has put his name in the NFL free-agency discussion with his great showing in Morgantown.
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