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Noel Devine Reunites with Rich Rodriguez During Recruiting Visit for Sons

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Noel Devine, Rich Rodriguez, Devine's sons

The last time Noel Devine spoke about WVU, he was voicing his displeasure with the current coaching staff and how they handled his son, but now he’s praising a former West Virginia coach while on a recruiting visit.

“Had a great unofficial visit at Jacksonville State with my sons. Life is a full circle. I played for Coach Rod at WVU my freshman year, now he’s recruiting my son Dre. Coach hasn’t changed, Still love his players and treat them like family,” said the former Mountaineer running back about how his son’s trip to Jacksonville State turned into a reunion.

Coach Rodriguez posted a picture with Devine, the highest rated prospect he was ever able to recruit to West Virginia. “Great seeing my guy Noel Devine!! A legend!!,” Rodriguez captained the image on X (Twitter). 

Devine had even more to say in response to those comments by his old coach. “It was great seeing my college coach Rich Rod. Hadn’t seen him since he left WVU my freshman year and went to Michigan. The best head coach/offensive guru in college football that started RPO tempo spread offense,” Devine added.

This encounter between Devine and Rodriguez comes less than two months after the WVU Sports Hall of Famer unloaded on the present day West Virginia coaching staff. Devine did not hold back when the Mountaineers failed to sign his son Andre as part of their 2024 class on National Signing Day. Andre’s visit to Jacksonville State is because he actually still has not found his college home for next season.

Former Mountaineer Noel Devine Lashes Out at WVU Over His Son’s Recruitment

“Looking to find my son a home. It’s sad to see what college football has become with this transfer portal. These coaches leave high school kids left behind to get a kid that’s already developed from the transfer portal. Disappointed in WVU football,” said Noel Devine on X (Twitter) on Dec. 22.

According to what Devine also said as a reply to fan, his son was offered by West Virginia at one point, but was then ignored when he told the coaching staff he was ready to commit and join his father as a Mountaineer legacy. Andre did take multiple recruiting visits to WVU throughout the past year.

There’s no way to know what the truth of the situation actually is since no WVU coach is going to admit to ignoring the son of a former player, but it’s still unsettling to see someone who had success as a Mountaineer so upset at the program.

But to be fair and offer context, West Virginia did sign multiple running backs, both carrying better ratings than Andre Devine. Traevon Dunbar and Diore Hubbard signed their national letters of intent with WVU on Wednesday. They are rated as consensus three-star running backs and among the top 50 prospects in their states. Devine only holds a three-star rating from two major recruiting outlets (On3 and 247 Sports) and they rate him as the number 209 and 234 player, respectively.

Andre does hold offers from FAU, USF and even another West Virginia based school in Marshall. Noel did not specify why his son did not end up signing with any of the other programs to offer him. It’s possible he is still holding out hope of playing home games at Milan Puskar Stadium like his dad did over a decade ago.

Inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2021, regardless what’s true and what ends up materializing when it comes to Andre’s future, his father’s time as a Mountaineer is in stone. Noel Devine ran for 4,315 yards and scored 29 touchdowns at WVU from 2007-2010, which include being part of WVU’s 2008 Fiesta Bowl winning team to cap off the 2007 season. Devine averaged 5.9 yards per carry throughout his college career and even excelled as a kickoff returner.

Unfortunately, Devine was never able to transition his success in high school and college to the pros, only experiencing a brief stay on the Eagles’ practice squad after not being drafted and then bouncing around between other professional leagues like the CFL and the UFL.

Rodriguez, a West Virginia native, currently holds a 181-125-2 overall coaching record. He obviously experience most of his success while leading the Mountaineers from 2001-2007. At WVU, Rodriguez won four Big East titles, was named conference Coach of the Year twice. He added a third Coach of the Year honor in the Pac-12 in 2014 with Arizona.

Last November, WVSN’s Mike Asti asked WVU legend Rasheed Marshall if he would ever want Rich Rodriguez to return as head coach of the Mountaineers during an episode of their past “All Three Phases” podcast.

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