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Terrance West: I'm Back Where I Belong


Terrance West always thought he was going to be a Raven, from his days growing up in Baltimore's rough side of town to when he was turning heads at nearby Towson to when he was entering the NFL Draft.

After being ejected by Cleveland and Tennessee, West had a few teams reach out for potential signings. He chose to join the Ravens practice squad.

On Wednesday, West strapped on the purple and black for the first time and his dream became a reality.

"This is where I belong right here," West said. "I always wanted to be a Raven and this is my home."

West was a highly sought-after prospect despite coming out of small-school Towson. He piled up 84 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards in college and showed shiftiness, smooth hands and grit.

West had a lot of contact with the Ravens during the pre-draft process, including many conversations with General Manager Ozzie Newsome about how he handle staying near home.

West said the Ravens were going to draft him with pick No. 99 overall (the second-to-last pick in the third round), but the Browns traded ahead of Baltimore and plucked him at No. 94. The Ravens ended up selecting tight end Crockett Gillmore instead.

So far, Gillmore looks to have been the right move.

West is already on his third team in just his second season. It's not common for a third-round pick to be shipped out* *by a team after just one season, especially when there wasn't any injury.

West had marginal success on the field in Cleveland during his rookie year. He rushed for 673 yards (3.9 per carry) and scored five touchdowns overall. He says he was traded after one season because of coaching changes.

Kyle Shanahan was Cleveland's offensive coordinator last season, and was the person, according to West, who pushed to draft him. When Shanahan moved on to Atlanta and John DeFilippo entered, West lost his supporter and was traded to the Titans for a conditional draft pick.

West's stay didn't last long in Tennessee either. He played in just two games and rushed 16 times for 51 yards. West said he was a casualty of a numbers game with the Titans. Tennessee already had starter Antonio Andrews, last year's second-round pick Bishop Sankey and rookie fifth-round pick David Cobb in the backfield.

"That's the past and this is the future right here," West said.

"I wasn't expecting it. This offseason, I worked hard and there were a lot of changes this year. But everything happens for a reason. God took me around the world to different teams just to bring me home so I could appreciate it more."

West said he has a lot to prove. The question is whether a homecoming will be the scenery change he needs to get it done and deliver on his promise.

West was asked whether a return home would be good for him. He said it's a blessing to be back around his friends and family.

"I played Pop Warner here, I played high school here, I played college here," he said. "Sometimes it gets lonely and you miss your family sometimes."

West even already has a place to live. About two months ago, he found a place about 10 minutes away from Owings Mills to come back to during the offseason.

"See, everything falls in place," West said.

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