Name: Speedy Noil
Height/Weight: 5’11 175
40 Yard Dash: 4.45
Devante “Speedy” Noil is an electric 2014 prospect who hails from New Orleans, Louisiana. Rivals rates Noil as a high 4 star prospect. However, Noil checks in at number 18 overall and a five star recruit at 247sports.com. We side more with 247 on their ranking of Noil.
Although Noil plays quarterback for his high school, he projects as an instant impact player at slot receiver and return man. Major college programs agree. Speedy boasts offers from the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida, USC, Texas, Texas A&M, Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon, and Notre Dame. He recently named Texas A&M and LSU as his leaders, but LSU remains the perennial favorite for hometown kids.
Pros: Noil put up video game like numbers at Edna Karr High School, scorching opponents to the tune of 2225 yards through the air and over 1400 yards on the ground. In addition to football, Noil also stars on the nationally ranked Edna Karr track team.
With Noil, it all starts with his explosiveness and elusiveness, which are first class. Quite simply, he is faster and quicker than anyone he encounters at the high school level.
Westcott Ebert points out that Noil “as a receiver, his speed off the ball makes him a dangerous threat, especially when projecting him in the slot where he will have a two-way go against opposing defensive backs, which will make it difficult to defend him in man coverage without a safety highly aware of his presence....he projects favorably in college as someone who can get open on double moves. “
All of the pieces are there for a gamebreaker. He just needs to put them all together.
Cons: Noil is a bit on the small side, (he’s variously listed between 5’10 and 6’1, weighing between 160 and 180) so he’s going to need to spend some time in the weight room. His tendency to break everything to the outside will probably need to be reined in some in college.
However, Noil’s biggest task will be learning to play receiver. He excels at speed routes, such as posts and go routes, where his speed and raw athleticism can make up for lack of technique. Noil will benefit greatly from practicing exclusively at receiver. The more reps at the position he can get, the better.
Conclusion: Noil is a guy who will see the field freshman year, wherever he attends school. His explosiveness is just too elite. Even at deeper programs, Noil should be able to find a niche on kick returns, punt returns, and screen passes where his change of direction and acceleration will allow him to excel.
But Noil’s star should truly begin to shine as a sophomore and he begins to develop an understanding of route running. Noil compares very favorably to former West Virginia star Tevon Austin, and I expect him to have a similar impact for whatever college he attends. Noil is a five star recruit with an incredibly bright future ahead of him.