WIR: Devine to play again
North Fort Myers High School running back Noel Devine, who missed his last two games after being suspended on Sept. 29 for an altercation at school, has returned to class and will play Friday against Lakewood Ranch.
"He's a kid. He's in high school. He does high school kid things," North Fort Myers head coach James Iandoli said of the incident.
Devine, who turns 19 in February, has endured a more difficult road than the average high school student. He has fathered two children, and both his parents died of AIDS, his father when he was an infant and his mother when he was 12.
In the summer of 2005, he made headlines when it looked like North Fort Myers alum Deion Sanders would adopt him. Devine moved to Sanders' ranch in Prosper, Texas, but on what would have been his first day of high school practice, he abruptly took one of Sanders' cars, drove to the airport, left the keys in the car and flew back to Florida.
"He's just like every other kid, except for the media wanting to focus all the attention," says Iandoli.
Devine, the No. 3 overall prospect in the Class of 2007, hasn't talked to the media since the start of his senior season. A request for an interview with Devine was denied by Iandoli.
Starting his senior year below NCAA academic qualifications, Devine is working to get his grades and test scores up to meet eligibility requirements and is being tutored at the Sylvan Learning Center.
The 17-year old boy accused of killing former De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) football star Terrance Kelley in 2004 was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder.
Kelly was shot four times by Darren Pratcher on Aug. 12, 2004, while Kelly sat in his car in Richmond, Calif., waiting to give his stepbrother a ride home. He was scheduled to leave for Oregon on a football scholarship two days later.
Expected to play safety in college, Kelly played linebacker and running back at De La Salle, which went undefeated in his four years there.
Westlake High School senior Matt Nader, who collapsed from a lethal arrhythmia during a Sept. 15 game and was revived by a defibrillator on the field, is the impetus behind new legislation being proposed in Texas.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, Texas Lt. Gov David Dewhurst is behind an initiative that would put defibrillators in all 8,000 Texas public schools at a proposed cost of around $16 million.
"If you want to argue about cost, I say nuts," Dewhurst said. "The unit that saved Matt's life cost about $2,000, and you can't put a price tag on saving a child's life or a staff member's life. Matt was lucky."
The University Interscholastic League, which governs high school athletics in Texas, will vote this weekend on whether to put defibrillators in all Texas high schools, but Dewhurst's measure would go beyond that. He plans on putting it before the state legislature when it convenes next year.
According to the American-Statesman report, only about 600 of Texas' 1,300 high schools currently have defibrillators.
• Remember this verbal commitment next year: A.J. Green (Summerville, S.C.), expected to be an ESPN 150 wide receiver prospect in the Class of 2008, announced for Georgia.
• Colorado, despite being 0-6, had a big week on the recruiting front, landing two out-of-state verbal commitments.
ESPN 150 defensive end Conrad Obi (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) announced he had switched his verbal commitment from Georgia to Colorado after a visit to the Boulder campus.
Also, fullback Devan Johnson (Pittsburgh/Woodland Hills) gave a verbal commitment, though he has since said he will still take all of his official visits.
Henry Gola is the recruiting editor for ESPN.com
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