May 10, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT
Like many Football Championship Subdivision diehard fans, I spent Friday night huddled around the television watching the second and third rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft. Unless you have the talent of Joe Flacco, CAA Football’s highest ever draftee at pick No. 18 overall in 2008, the reality for FCS studs is that you probably won’t hear your name called until the second day of the draft.
After Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went at No. 62 to the New England Patriots in the second round and North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner followed in the third at No. 67, I knew former Towson running back Terrance West had to be selected shortly.
A little before midnight, and with the Cleveland Browns on the clock, my ears perked up when I heard West’s name called with the 94th overall pick. I’ll admit, it was even pretty neat to hear NFL Draft experts like Todd McShay, Mel Kiper Jr. and Trent Dilfer speak of West with credible insight and knowledge. For a handful of #CAAFB fans, including myself, it was all something we already knew.
To just sit here and write about Terrance’s impact and video-game like numbers could take forever, though it would still be certainly worth it. For everyones sake, I’ll just stick with some of the most important aspects.
Over just three seasons at Towson — let’s remember, West decided to forgo his final year of eligibility — he rushed for 4,849 yards and 84 touchdowns on 802 career carries.
Think about that for one second. 84 TDs!
He even scored two career receiving TDs, so in all he found the end zone 86 times. West ironically tied Adrian Peterson of Georgia Southern (1998-2001) for the FCS career rushing TD record. When it came to all-time FCS total TD record, West fell three behind the leader, Brian Westbrook of Villanova, who had 89, while Peterson finished second with 87.
Putting statistics aside, it’s simply amazing to think about how the Towson football program changed once West enrolled for his first season in 2011. The Tigers went from finishing in the bottom half of the league standings — placing dead last five times since joining the conference in 2004 — to twice winning CAA Football’s top spot, while reaching the FCS national playoffs in 2011 and 2013 over the last three seasons alone.
This past fall as a junior, West had the greatest statistical showing by a running back at the FCS level and arguably one of the top seasons in NCAA Football history. He helped, and often times willed, Towson to an appearance in the FCS national title game and finished the year as the FCS’ all-time single-season rushing record leader with 2,509 yards and 42 total touchdowns. Not surprising, those numbers paced all NCAA football players across every division.
At the end of the day, Terrance West left an enormous mark on CAA Football and put his name amongst some of the best players that ever wore a uniform in the league. Obviously, I’m not saying that because he got drafted, Terrance is going to make an immediate impact right away, make the Pro Bowl or even make the 53-man roster come September.
If his career as a Tiger is any indication, however, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him playing on Sundays. In fact, neither would Terrance.
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