They call him by many names: Moose, Moosey, Shark and Lance Barrow’s new nickname for him, Land Shark.
Charcandrick West, Abilene Christian’s premier running back, is just 13 touchdowns away from tying former running back Daryl Richardson’s regular season touchdown record. West has made five trips to the end zone thus far in the Wildcats’ first two games. He seems on pace to break the record come game number 8 against Incarnate Word.
West is in his last season suited in the purple and white, and dreams of traveling up north to Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts stadium) to showcase his speed and agility to NFL scouts at the combine.
Richardson, who is now the St. Louis Rams starting running back, has a close relationship with the Land Shark; Shark says they speak on the phone daily.
“He tells me I have the ability to be a starter in the NFL, but the key is to stay healthy and keep those legs chopping,” West said.
In head coach Ken Collum’s air-it-out offense, it may be tough for West to hear his number called in the huddle this season, but West is certain will make the most of the few touches he will receive.
With just nine games to go, and a number of worthy opponents to face this season, West will have to get on his horse if he wants to even come close to being one of ACU’s notable running backs.
“No disrespect to my boy Daryl, but I’m going for his record because I believe I need to have the scouts turning their heads in Abilene’s direction again,” West said.
West was surprised to see he was just a few away from breaking into ACU’s top 10 touchdown leaders when he scrolled down his Twitter news feed to see Grant Boone’s tweet Saturday night.
Coach Collums speaks highly of the Land Shark and his pure running ability and dreams of becoming an NFL premier back.
“When you have a running back who is as dynamic as Charcandrick who can run the ball, catch the ball and sit in there to pass block, you have something special,” Collums said. “We’ve had several good running backs come through this program, and Charcandrick seems to fit the mold of those young men who have gone on to the next level.”
West is a fun-loving type of guy who always seems to find a way to relish in the game of football. His wide-eyed demeanor while being chased by defenders expresses his performance on the field. He’s a guy who loves and respects his teammates from season to season, making sure they have a fun time on the field as well.
With Mitchell Gale throwing bombs up into thin air for the Toronto Argonauts, a new face lines up next to West. The San Angelo native, John David Baker, tied an ACU touchdown pass record in their home opener against Concordia College. West feels confident in Baker to give him some rest between plays.
“We talk every day, have fun with each other in the backfield, text each other and, since we have been practicing together for four years now, our chemistry is good on and off the field,” West said. “As long as he keeps throwing the ball down the field, I’ll keep running and blocking for him”
Moose, Moosey, Shark, Land Shark or any other nicknames Charcandrick West has on the field, it is certain he will keep his eyes wide and those legs chopping in pursuit of becoming one of ACU’s all-time great running backs.