Towson senior running back Darius Victor lost his role model almost five years ago, but he still dedicates his life to following the example set by his brother Kevin.
“It made me more appreciative of what I had,” said Victor of the shooting death of his 21-year-old brother two weeks before Christmas 2011. “My brother taught me a lot and he was very hard on me. I (embraced his) approach and have put it upon myself to live life the way he probably would have wanted me to, an approach that has helped me a lot. He was definitely my role model.”
Kevin would certainly approve of the life Darius leads. It is one in which there is often not enough hours in a day to accomplish all that he has squeezed onto his overflowing plate.
There is his work with charities and youth groups, including the Boys and Girls Club of Maryland, and as a student-athlete representative on the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee. He has also been a Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Rookie of the Year, spelling current NFL player Terrance West in 2013, and a First and Second Team All-CAA performer while topping 1,000 rushing yards each of the past two seasons.
Sure, Victor could engage more in the fun stuff that comes with being a college student. But he chose a different route, a path he will continue to traverse in his final year at Towson. It is a path that requires unwavering determination when it comes to juggling classes, practice, games, and endeavors on and away from campus.
“I just do what I have to do and go about it with a positive attitude,” said Victor, the middle of seven siblings born to Gary and Patricia, who moved the family from Africa to Maryland when Darius was five. “I could be doing something else, what other students are doing. But I know that would not get me to where I need to go. So it is about getting my priorities straight and having a positive attitude like, ‘this is what you want to do, this is what you signed up, this is the life you chose and do the best you can.’”
Victor is doing the best he can to be heard on the oversight committee. His chief concerns are making sure that college football from the Football Championship Subdivision on down has a voice – “be there for the little guy” – and that more is done to emphasize the importance of time management given the demands many student-athletes have to shoulder.
“I just try to do what I can to help make the student-athlete experience a little bit better,” said the electronic media & film major, who would like to pursue a career away from the camera and behind the scenes in a leadership position.
While his involvement with the committee has been rewarding, little compares to the feeling he gets from helping youth groups, whether it is at a football camp, giving kids a campus tour or any other activity.
“I get a lot out of it because it means I am in a position to help,” he said. “It means that I am blessed, that my life has gone well and I want to give back to others. Just putting a smile on their faces is worth it.”
Safe to say it would be well worth it for the youths he has touched to consider Darius Victor their role model.