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West declares for NFL draft

7 January 2014 By Matthew Hamilton, Associate Sports Editor One Comment
Record-setting back forgoes senior season

Just three days ago, former Towson running back Terrance West was in Frisco, Tx. dodging questions about his future while setting his sights on a National Championship. Today, West will leave the Towson area to head to Tampa, Fl. to prepare for the NFL Draft this spring.

CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora broke the news via Twitter that West will forgo his senior season to become draft eligible. La Canfora also announced that cornerback Jordan Love will enter the draft. Both players signed with agent Marc Lillibridge of Pro Football Syndicate.

The decision-making process started in December, when Head Coach Rob Ambrose and West decided to file for a NFL Draft status evaluation. This evaluation is conducted by various NFL teams, and it concluded that West’s value was “as high as” the third round of the draft.

After the team got back from Texas, Ambrose and West met to discuss the options.

“He wanted my opinion and I gave it to him. There’s a part of me that’s selfish and doesn’t want him to leave, but he’s about to turn 23 years old and he’s clearly good enough,” Ambrose said. “We had a good long talk on the yes and no of it. Then, we talked on Monday and he told he was going to do it and the rest is kind of history.”

Ambrose said the he made West promise to graduate and they had “detailed conversations” concerning the financial and social aspects of being a professional.

“For the longevity of it, it’s not always about production. The way you treat people will have a direct effect on how long you stay in the league,” Ambrose said. “I told him, ‘Don’t go to be a guy, be the guy.’ Terrance is a very good person, and [I told him] to make sure the money doesn’t change that.”

West led the nation with 2,509 rushing yards and 41 rushing touchdowns, both Football Championship Subdivision records. He ran for 99 yards and one touchdown in Saturday’s National Championship game against North Dakota State.

In another nationally televised playoff game, West broke the FCS-postseason record for yards in a game against Eastern Illinois in the quarterfinals. He ran through the snow for 354 yards and five touchdowns to garner even more national attention.

West leaves Towson with 4,849 career rushing yards and 86 touchdowns. He tied the FCS record for most career rushing touchdowns and finished two touchdowns short of Brian Westbrook’s all-time record for all-purpose touchdowns.

“He walks in the door with potential and a skill set, but watching him grow as a person is the most rewarding part,” Ambrose said. “He bought into what I was selling into making a difference in the town, school and the city of Baltimore. I’m proud of him and he’s going to go on to do great things.”

As for his draft stock, CBS Sports ranked West as the ninth running back in April’s draft. West could pass Chicago Bears offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod (125th) as the highest drafted Towson player. Love, La Canfora tweeted, could be drafted somewhere around the fifth round.

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