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November 23, 2012
Sophomore linebacker Rodman Noel will see a lot of familiar faces on Saturday in the season finale against Boston College. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound native of Everett, Mass., knows several Eagles' players, but none better than his older brother, Jim Noel, a senior defensive back.
"It's going to be his last collegiate game, so I'm trying to get as many tickets as I can and he is going to get as many tickets as he can," he said. "I've been talking to him every day since last week. We've been talking a little smack to each other, but we're trying to get the family situated first.
"I've only got a limited amount of how many tickets I can get, and that's how many people are coming. I know more people would want to make it, but it's going to be Senior Day. I respect the seniors, and they're going to get their tickets."
The younger brother was looking forward to playing against Jim last season, but the older brother missed the game with an injury. Rodman, then a defensive back, played on special teams in the 14-10 loss at Chestnut Hill.
"It will be a great day with all of my family," Noel noted.
Since that game last fall, Noel has moved to strongside linebacker in the Pack's defense. He has started five of the games this fall and logged defensive snaps in all but two games. Despite playing near the line of scrimmage for the first time, the youngster ranks 10th on the team with 36 tackles, including seven for loss, and a sack. His number of tackles in the backfield ranks fifth on the team despite appearing on just 263 snaps.
However, Noel has logged just nine snaps in the last two games, while the Pack utilized a lot of its nickel package.
"It's always exciting to be on the field, but sometimes you just have to go against their personnel and put the right defense in there," he said. "When you get the opportunity, you have to make plays."
Meanwhile, Jim, who earned the school's Jay McGillis Memorial Scholarship in April 2012, has played in every game for his team and totaled 36 tackles with two interceptions and one forced fumble. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder has started 22 games over the last three years at safety and opened last week's game against Virginia Tech at cornerback.
"Jim's a hard worker, and he's been a hard worker since we were little kids," Rodman said. "He has played since his freshman year, and he's always going to produce when he's on the football field.
"He plays everywhere in the secondary; wherever they need him to play, he'll play."
More important than gaining bragging rights over Jim for Rodman, though, will be sending his senior teammates off with a win.
"I know these seniors don't want to go off losing their last regular-season game and going to a bowl game that they didn't really want to go to," he said. "It's important that everybody goes out there and plays hard, and plays for these seniors.
"The seventh win is going to be big for us, its going to determine which bowl we go to. We don't want to end the season with a .500 record, and then we'll continue on to the bowl game, keep working hard."