How West Has Won

Baltimore native and Towson University alum, Terrance West, readies for the NFL draft

By Marco Romanell - May 2014

Terrance West’s journey from retail salesman to NFL draft pick

Baltimore native and Towson University alum, Terrance West, readies for the NFL draft

By Marco Romanell - May 2014

-Photography by Brian Schneider

The NFL draft is May 8-10 and, at some point during those three days, Baltimore native and Towson University alum Terrance West will almost certainly hear his name called, and his boyhood dream will be a reality.

West will be one of 200-plus players drafted, but no one has had quite his path to the NFL.

Growing up fatherless in a tough West Baltimore neighborhood, Terrance West, nonetheless, became a star running back at Northwestern High School. He knew he had the talent to play after he graduated, but he needed to get his SAT scores up, so he attended prep school. But after a year without scholarship offers, West started working at Jimmy Jazz clothing store selling shoes and continued to dream of playing collegiate football.

After failed attempts to be a walk-on at Morgan State and University of Maryland, West decided to try Towson, which was seeking a fresh start for its football program. (The Tigers had only had one win the entire 2010 football season.)

“I came into the office at 4 a.m. for 5:45 practice and Terrance was already there, after taking two buses from Baltimore City,” says Towson coach Rob Ambrose. “It was that day I knew there was drive in him that you don’t see in most people these days.”

After three years, West became Towson’s all-time leading rusher with 4,854 yards and 84 touchdowns (he rushed for 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns this past season), and he helped lead Towson to the FCS Championship game. “Where you went to school won’t save you,” says West. “If you want to play in the NFL, you have to earn it.”

The list of Towson University students who have played in the NFL can be counted on one hand, so it’s quite an accomplishment for West to be one of them.

Not bad for a guy who was selling shoes four years ago.

You May Also Like

The Birds Nest

Checking in with Orioles Pitcher Branden Kline

Awaiting MLB's return, Kline talks being a wine nerd, his terrible golf game, and his scene-stealing daughter.

Ravens Watch

Lamar Jackson Embraces Madden 2021 Cover

The Ravens QB ain't afraid of no curse.

The Birds Nest

Trey Mancini Opens Up About Cancer Diagnosis Shock and Chemo During a Pandemic

“I want everybody to know that I’m O.K.,” the Orioles fan favorite says.


Lessons From The Ice

A Reisterstown ice hockey program breaks down barriers.

The Chatter

Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula, Who First Won Big in Baltimore, Dies at 90

Architect of Miami Dolphins' perfect 1972 season was 33 when he took Colts helm.

-Photography by Brian Schneider

Connect With Us

Most Read

Art of Baltimore Project Showcases Digital Works Throughout Downtown: Campaign supports local artists while illuminating the city for essential employees.

Maryland Hoops, and Everyone Else, Stomachs A Sudden End to Their Seasons: Plus, an update on Trey Mancini’s health and Joe Flacco shows for Marshal Yanda’s retirement party

Frustrated by Trump, Hogan Lands 500,000 COVID-19 Tests from South Korea: First Lady Yumi Hogan helped negotiations with South Korean suppliers.

How to Support Small Businesses Amid Pandemic Panic: As foot traffic slows due to coronavirus, owners worry about lasting impacts.

Teachers Continue to Fight for Education Equality While Instructing Virtually: Despite a lack of resources, students and teachers work to find feasible solutions.