Ravens RB Terrance West's dream of starting could turn into reality

In what seemed like an improbability a year ago may just happen for Terrance West in 2016.

The running back has put himself in position of fulfilling a dream and starting for his hometown Baltimore Ravens.

Still No. 3 on the Ravens' depth chart, West has been the No. 1 playmaker for the Baltimore offense so far this training camp. He's hitting holes, making cuts to elude tackles and producing big gains consistently.

With each passing training camp practice, West looks more like the potential filled third-round pick from 2014 and not a back who has bounced around three teams in the past three seasons.

"I think I’ve been focused, but I’m more dialed in because of the situation I was in and coming to Baltimore," West said. "This is my hometown, so there’s a lot at stake."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh hasn't officially named a starting running back this year, and it seems like the team is taking a wait-and-see approach in the backfield. This is the deepest running back group in Ravens' history, and Baltimore could either go with the hot hand from week to week or stick with one back if someone clearly steps up.

Almost one full week into camp, Justin Forsett and Buck Allen are taking the reps with the first two teams, which doesn't come as a surprise. Forsett has led Baltimore in rushing the past two years, and Allen started the final six games of last season. Both have been solid in training camp.

But West has put himself in the conversation with his impressive start to camp. He has clearly caught the attention of the coaching staff.

"I just think he looks good as a football player," Harbaugh said. "I think urgency is a good word from a physical perspective. His running is urgent. He’s making cuts. He’s making really good reads. He’s quick through the hole, he’s quick into the hole. There’s no hesitation."

The urgency could be the result of how his career steered him back to Baltimore, where he played his high school and college football. West went from being the 94th player selected in the 2014 draft to being traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Tennessee Titans for a conditional seventh-round pick only 17 months later. He then lasted just seven weeks with the Titans before being cut.

The biggest knocks on West has been his inconsistency, ability to pick up blitzes and maturity issues. After being picked up by Baltimore last season, West worked himself up from the practice squad and was the backup for the last six games, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. This offseason, he was a fixture at Ravens headquarters and lost 15 pounds since the last game of the 2015 season.

Asked what it would mean if he did win the starting job with the Ravens, West said: “That would be a dream come true. A lot of people in this city are depending on me. That would mean a lot to this city. That would be big.”