Terrance West is getting a chance to come home to Baltimore. Now it is up to him to salvage his NFL career.
The former Towson University star has agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens and will be added to the team’s practice squad. To make room for West, the team let go of defensive end Nordly Capi.
West was excited about the opportunity to play for his hometown team, posting this caption to his Instagram moments after the announcement was made:
“It’s time to go to work just like old times. From pop warner to high school to college and now the pro’s. God took me around the world to bang me up so I could appreciate it more being home. Ima give you guys my all. I love my city. Dreams into reality!! Locked in and focus #BlessedToBeA #RAVEN”
West is a product of Baltimore, where he attend Northwestern High School and was a two-time All-Baltimore City selection in a high school career in which he finished with over 4,700 total yards. He was more than just a football player too, as he was a key player for the basketball and track-and-field teams at Northwestern.
He decided to stay home in Baltimore after failing to get into Clemson and Maryland, joining Rob Ambrose and the Towson Tigers. His impact was immediately felt for the Tigers as he broke school records in yards (1,294) and touchdowns (29) as a true freshman.
There was only one word to describe his final season with the Tigers: unbelievable. West destroyed his previous school records while setting NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) marks with 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns. He was the catalyst of a Tigers’ team that reached the 2013 FCS Championship game and caught the attention of many executives around the NFL.
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The Cleveland Browns made it a priority to get West on their roster, sending fourth- and sixth-round picks to the San Francisco 49ers to move up into the third round. The stint with the Browns was short-lived despite leading the team with 171 carries and 673 yards as a rookie. His talent has never been the question, but more his maturity as a football player. The Browns were so fed up with his antics that they gave up on their third-rounder after just one season, shipping him to the Tennesee Titans for a late conditional draft pick, depending on playing time.
In two games with the Titans, he carried the ball 16 times for 51 yards, but also lost fumbles in back-to-back weeks and was benched ever since Week 2. He was cut by Tennessee on Saturday and the Browns will no longer receive the draft pick as compensation for last year’s third-round pick (can the Browns do anything right in the draft?).
West now joins the Ravens as a player with talent, but must prove that he is serious about becoming a complete football player, on and off the field. He certainly has the skills to play in the league, but there is constant chatter about his character. West had an incident on the sidelines with Ambrose while in college and threatened to leave the team, only to return a week later. Those concerns have seemed to carry over into the NFL, but coming home to Baltimore might be what he needs to get his career back in order.
The Ravens have little to lose by taking a chance on West as just a practice squad player. The front office did have an interest in taking the local product during last year’s draft, but the Browns surprised many league executives with the move to land West. The Ravens’ front office has all the tools to make this work for West, having his family, high school and college coach all within a few miles to get his mind right. If not, he cost the Ravens nothing to give it a whirl.
It remains to be seen if there is a role for West. Justin Forsett and Javorius Allen will continue to remain on this roster, barring injury. Raheem Mostert is the third running back on the roster, but West offers some physicality to the running game that is current missing from this current group of backs. He also needs to work on those fumbling issues.
It would be an amazing story if West can recapture those moments of brilliance in Baltimore. That is most kids’ dream growing up. Very few athletes get an opportunity to play in their hometown collegiately, let alone professionally. If John Harbaugh can get West’s career turned around, they may have found a treasure from another team’s trash.
Now, it’s up to West to do all the right things and continue to make plays for our local team. Baltimore is rooting for you.