Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Underclassmen from the FCS level rarely enter the NFL Draft, but Towson football coach Rob Ambrose and his program are bracing for that possibility with junior running back Terrance West.
After Towson's 35-7 loss to North Dakota State in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game on Saturday, Ambrose said his conversations with West about the future will begin on Sunday.
"On the whole in almost all cases, I'm going to tell you that the history of an education and what it will do for the rest of your life in most cases, in almost all cases, is more important than a short-lived NFL career," Ambrose said. "But Terrance is also an older player. He was an older freshman, he was an older true freshman, and he's an older junior. It's not a question that Terrance has the talent to play at the next level. There's got to be a conversation about where he could actually go."
One scout told The Sports Network that West would be projected for the third round if he departs Towson early. West will turn 23 on Jan. 28.
His 2013 season is considered the best ever by an FCS running back. As Towson went 13-3, West finished with 2,509 rushing yards, 41 rushing touchdowns and 42 total touchdowns - all national single-season records.
The 2011 Jerry Rice Award winner as the FCS freshman of the year has 4,849 rushing yards in 37 games over three seasons. He has scored 86 touchdowns, just three shy of the FCS record that Brian Westbrook scored in his career at Villanova.
In the national championship game, West rushed for 99 yards on 22 carries and scored Towson's only touchdown. He also caught five passes for 39 yards.
"I thought he played pretty well, I really did," Ambrose said. "I don't think we played particularly well up front."