Noel Devine, Sanders Decide to Stay: Not a Big Surpise?

Daniel KablackCorrespondent IIIJanuary 14, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01: Running back Noel Devine #7 and wide receiver Alric Arnett #82 of the West Virginia Mountaineers celebrate Devine's first quarter touchdown in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles during the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on January 1, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The news on Thursday that West Virginia Junior RB Noel Devine and Junior WR Jock Sanders would return to the football program for their senior season may have come as a bit of surprise to some.

But really, was it?

Answer to that: No.

Both Juniors cite that they are not yet ready to call it quits and claim to have "unfinished business" to take care of before leaving the program.

Devine and Sanders were named Mountaineer co-offensive players of the year during the 2009-2010 season, Devine leading in rush yards and Sanders leading the Mountaineer offense in receiving yards.

Noel had rushed for 1,465 yards this season, which put him at ninth-best the FBS and the fourth-highest total in Mountaineer history. Devine also reached the endzone 13 times, making him an All-Big East selection.

Both Devine and Sanders are considered very explosive players on offense. Both are considered small in comparison to NFL players, which would have affected their NFL Draft stock had they elected to enter the draft this year.

The return of Devine and Sanders adds some stability to a Mountaineer team who will lose it's starting QB Jarrett Brown, who was a force with his arm and his legs.

I had no doubt that Noel Devine would be back for his senior season.

Coming back to play for the Mountaineers one more year would only make sense.