The Best Part Of Waking Up: The Maxwell Award, Featuring Noel Devine

Scott PauleyAnalyst INovember 5, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Running back Noel Devine #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers smiles prior to taking on the University of South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium September 28, 2007 in Tampa Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

No West Virginia Mountaineers player has ever received the coveted Maxwell Award for the best collegiate player of the year.

As a matter of fact, with so many great players in the college ranks, very rarely have we seen a player from WVU make the finals of the watch list.

This year the powers that be have selected WVU junior running back, Noel Devine, as one of the 16 semi-finalists for the 2009-2010 watch list.

Among those players are Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, and last year’s winner, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

One could only expect the best of the best to be named as a semi-finalist for this award. 

Fans of the Big East should feel proud to have two representatives from the conference on the list.  These two players, Noel Devine and Dion Lewis, happen to be the best of the best in the Big East.

Penn State has had the most Maxwell Award recipients, followed by Notre Dame and Navy. 

The Big Ten holds the record for most recipients from one conference and only two players have held the title more than once. 

Johnny Lattner of Notre Dame received the award in 1952 and 1953 as well as the Heisman Trophy in 1953.  Florida’s Tim Tebow is the reigning Maxwell Award winner and has been since winning the award in 2007.  Tebow was also awarded the Heisman Trophy in 2007.

As one may conclude, winning the Maxwell Award is quite a prestigious honor.  It is not handed out haphazardly to just any athlete.

Just being a semi-finalist for the award is an honor in itself. 

Noel Devine has accrued 2,828 rushing yards, 380 receiving yards and 627 special teams’ yards, in just 32 football games.  Through seven games, in 2009 alone, Devine has combined for 1152 total yards.

Winning is an award in itself, no matter what the competition may be. 

However, being awarded the Maxwell Award for best player all around is not just an award that is received. 

It is an award that is earned.

Will the voters choose a little guy from a seemingly little conference?  Will the voters go for the big fish in the little pond?  Will those who are semi-finalists now remain in that position?  Will the voters choose a player that has gold teeth? 

Will West Virginia finally have a Maxwell Award winner?

You know I often wonder—would Mountaineer football be Mountaineer football if the Mountaineers had Maxwell Award finalists or Heisman Trophy finalists every year?

Noel Devine, you make us proud.