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July 27, 2011

Undrafted Mountaineers find homes

West Virginia had four players drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, and four more found homes shortly after the lockout was officially ended after signing undrafted rookie free agent deals.

Noel Devine signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after the accomplished running back completed his four-career in a West Virginia uniform as the Mountaineers third all-time leading rusher, with 4,315 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Devine, a native of Fort Myers, Fla., also displayed his versatility during his career with 98 receptions for 710 yards, and 34 kickoff returns for 736 yards.

The diminutive running back had an injury-lingering senior season, finishing with only 934 yards and 6 touchdowns, but ran for 1,465 and 13-touchdowns during a healthy junior campaign.

Devine will join former Mountaineer and teammate in the backfield Owen Schmitt.

All-time WVU receptions leader wide receiver Jock Sanders, who had 206 catches, inked a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sanders caught a pass in 41 consecutive games in his career, tying another West Virginia record.

For his career, Sanders had 1,980 yards receiving, 622 rushing yards and 796 return yards for a combined total of 20 touchdowns. Last season Sanders finished with 69 receptions for 728 yards and four touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Anthony Leonard a native of McKeesport, Pa. signed with the New England Patriots.

Leonard started at linebacker for West Virginia last season and recorded 70 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. For his career he finished with 164 tackles.

Former hard-hitting safety Sidney Glover also signed a deal with the Buffalo Bills. Glover, from Warren, Oh., finished his career with 202 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.

During his senior season Glover recorded 63 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and a forced fumble.

Those players join cornerback Brandon Hogan, who was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 98th pick, Robert Sands, selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 134th pick, J.T. Thomas was grabbed by the Chicago Bears with the 198th pick and Chris Neild to the Washington Redskins with the 253rd pick as players on the 2010 Mountaineer squad that have found their way onto NFL rosters.


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