BEREA, Ohio -- By signing running back Terrance West, the Cleveland Browns have now signed three of the six players they selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.
West's signing was made official in a press release from the Browns late Wednesday.
"He's a shorter, compact-framed kid, so when you look at him, I don't want to say he's quite as short as a Maurice Jones-Drew build, but he's actually a slightly taller kid," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said the night he selected West.
"He has the same kind of thick-ish frame, big legs, a barrel-chested kind of kid, but he's a nifty-footed kid. He kind of has the Jerome Bettis nifty-footed big guy kind of feel to him when you watch him play."
The Browns wanted West in the fold so badly that they traded their way back into the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. They sent fourth and sixth-round selections to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 94th overall pick, which they used to select the former Towson running back.
"It means a lot," West said of the Browns trading up to draft him. "It means that they wanted me. Now, it's time for me to do my part. They drafted me. I've just got to perform and give them what they want. That's hard running and winning some games, help them win some games.
"I always had dreams of going in the first three rounds, and it was just a dream come true. Now, my favorite team is the Cleveland Browns, and I'm ready to represent."
In just three years at Towson, West rushed for 4,849 yards and 84 touchdowns.
"I had a great offensive line," West said. "I have great vision, and a coaching staff that believed in me, and I'm just a dedicated guy. I play with a chip on my shoulder, and I'm hungry for success."
In 2013, West proved to be a workhorse rusher who gained 2,509 yards and scored 41 touchdowns on 413 carries for a Towson Tigers team that advanced to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Championship Game.
"I did have a nose for the end zone," West said. "I love scoring points. I love helping my team out. I love to win. I hate to lose, and when I'm running the ball, I only see the goal line. I don't see anybody else on the field. I see me and that goal line and it's about getting points up on the board.
"My team needed me and I put my team on my shoulders. I was the underdog the whole year. We were the underdogs at Towson University, and I had to perform. The team depended upon me, and so, I had to give it my all, and that was putting points on the board. I love scoring touchdowns. I've been doing that since Pop Warner."
Despite his gaudy statistics, West's success story did not come without its challenges.
While he was an honor roll student at Northwestern High School in Baltimore, West did not qualify academically to play in college and spent a season at Fork Union Military Academy. However, he still went unnoticed by top college programs and walked on at Towson after working at a shoe store to support himself.
"I sold shoes while working out on my own and sending out film until I had a chance to get to a school," West said. "No one responded, so I had to walk on at Towson University.
"I had a great career in high school, and they retired my jersey. I was just at a public school here in Baltimore and I got overlooked. When the scouts came in, they went to bigger schools that had bigger football programs. I just got overlooked."
And now, once a year, West will get to plenty of attention in his hometown of Baltimore, where he will play against his former favorite team, the Ravens.
"I've got to give them their work," West said. "Two-hundred plus, that's what I'm going for. I just talked to the coach. That's what he wants, and that's what he's going to get.
"I'm a physical runner. I also can make people miss. I can catch out of the backfield and have great vision. I don't take too many big hits. If there's a big boom, I'm giving the blow. I don't take it."