Woodson said he told West, "It's not where you start, it's where you finish, and if you're good enough they're going to find you. … I told him that 'if Dave Meggett could come out of Towson, you can come out of Towson.' If he doesn't get hurt, you'll probably see West in the NFL. He's that kind of a stud."

Ambrose agrees, comparing West to Meggett, a former Towson teammate, as well as other great running backs he coached, including Tony Vinson at Towson as well Donald Brown and Terry Cauley at Connecticut.

"He's got scary talent," Ambrose said. "When he's focused, he's as good as I've ever seen."


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That carries off the field as well.

""He knows that one day he will stop playing football and he needs this degree," Ambrose said. "He works as hard in the classroom as he does in the weight room. He's got a tremendous academic work ethic. That's something exciting because he knows he came from not having one."

But Ambrose saw during spring practice that West's focus wasn't always there. Even this week, Ambrose was worried that the attention West has received is a distraction.

"Because he's so young, his mental commitment to the game has been inconsistent," Ambrose said.

Initially viewed to be a short-yardage back because of his powerful build — he is 5 feet 11 and 220 pounds — West has proven to be more than that. His first four touchdowns came when the Tigers had the ball near the goal line, but his last one was a 22-yarder on fourth-and-2 in the fourth quarter against Colgate.

"If I go through all the guys I've coached or played with who went to the NFL, Terrance is unlike any other," Ambrose said. "He's an incredibly strong back. He has the ability to be both physical and elusive. I believe he has the skill set [to play in the NFL], but he's got a lot to do between now and then."

don.markus@baltsun.com

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