Former Towson star running back Terrance West has signed his first NFL contract.

The Cleveland Browns' rookie third-round draft pick's four-year deal is worth approximately $2.796 million and includes a $527,400 signing bonus, according to a source.

West was enthusiastic about the new contract on Twitter, writing in all caps: "IM OFFICIALLY A #CLEVELAND#BROWN NOW¿¿ DEAL DONE #DAWGPOUND BABY. JUST THE BEGINNING. MORE TO COME. #BLESSED AND #THANKFUL"

The Baltimore native also posted a photograph on Instagram of him signing his contract.

West was selected 94th overall after the Browns traded up to the San Francisco 49ers' spot.

West overcame a low SAT score out of Northwestern High that forced him to enroll at Fork Union Military Academy four years ago. Then opportunities at Clemson, Maryland and Morgan State fell through for West.

The 5-foot-9, 230-pound West walked on at Towson after being passed over by the other schools, catching two buses at dawn each day to attend 5 a.m. practice sessions.

West led Towson to the Football Championship Subdivision national championship game last season, rushing for 2,509 yards and 42 touchdowns. He finished his career with a school-record 4,854 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns.

West is slated to work in tandem with veteran running back Ben Tate, a Maryland native who signed with the Browns during free agency after previously playing for the Houston Texans.

"They got somebody who will work their tail off," West told The Baltimore Sun shortly after being picked by the Browns. "I will put my heart and soul into the jersey and go hard every day. I want to win a Super Bowl and win conference championships. This is just getting started. I run hard. I score touchdowns and I make people miss."

awilson@baltsun.com

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