Not everyone gets to realize their childhood dreams, but Browns’ running back Terrance West is a rare exception. Statistics state that out of every 100,000 high school seniors who play football every year, only 0.2% will ever make an NFL roster. West was able to defy those odds, but his path was not an easy one.
West got his start playing football at the age of nine at John Eager Howard recreation center. As one of the biggest and the fastest players on the field, West was also one of the youngest as the league encompassed kids ages nine through eleven. His talent elicited immediate praise as onlookers proclaimed he’d someday be in the NFL. Little did West know that the journey he was about to embark upon in an effort to play football at the highest level would be a rocky one.
West starred at Northwestern high school in Baltimore, Maryland where he broke multiple school records resulting in his jersey being retired. Unfortunately he was never able to draw interest from college scouts throughout his high school career. He also spent a year at Fork Union Military Academy where he was one of the team’s starting running backs. However, he somehow went through his one-year stint at Fork Union without being offered a scholarship.
Following his time at Fork Union, West sat out the 2010 football season and returned to Baltimore. He picked up a job working at Jimmy Jazz shoe store while simultaneously staying in shape and sending his film out to prospective colleges. West began the process of walking on at the University of Maryland, but head coach Ralph Friedgen was fired prior to the 2011 season. Realizing that the new coaching staff would indubitably want their roster to be comprised of their own recruits, West took the liberty of finding a new home for his talents on the gridiron.
After a paperwork snafu prevented him from attending Morgan State University, West landed at Towson University where he would make all of his football dreams come true. West became the school’s all-time-leading rusher with 4,854 yards. He also accounted for 84 touchdowns. In his final season at Towson alone, he raked up 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns.
West’s performances during his 2013 season paved the way for the attention he’s long deserved. NFL scouts began to take notice of West’s ability as a ball carrier, and the Cleveland Browns subsequently chose him with the 30th pick in round No. 3.
West is off to a fast start in his rookie season as he rushed for 100 yards in his first outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also added 68 yards and a touchdown in his second game against the New Orleans Saints. For the moment, West is living a dream, but he’s keenly aware that there is work to be done. He’s worked extremely hard to get to this point in his career, and he has the talent, and work ethic necessary to have a long career in the NFL.
Please listen to the interview below as Terrance West expounds upon aforementioned items as well as his rookie season.
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