LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Injuries happen. It's just part of the game in college football, but when it happens time and time again to the same player, it's easy to think "why me?"
"It definitely went through my mind," said Kentucky senior safety Darius West. "I was dealing with that hard and I had a lot of people in my corner like my father. Even him at one point he said there are other things you can do in this world and one thing that never crossed my mind was quitting."
It's been a career riddled with injuries for Kentucky safety Darius West. The Ohio native has missed two full seasons during his time in Lexington, but now as a senior, everything seems to be coming together at just the right time.
"We came here to do something special and that is one of the main reasons why I chose Kentucky and to see things turning around it makes me more hungry and it is a great feeling but there is a lot more that we can do here," said West.
Back in Ohio, Darius missed most of his senior year of high school with a broken left leg and broke that bone again seven months later. Then once he arrived in Lexington, he injured that same left leg, forcing him to redshirt his freshman season.
Two years later. the injury bug bit again. A preseason knee injury. Done for the year, but he was healthy as a junior and has since used that as a springboard for a dominant senior season.
"That boy is a maniac, but that is what we need out there. He isn't the opposite of me but I am laid back and he is more of an expressive guy try to take a head off and we need that back there and he is a great player," said Mike Edwards.
Now that Darius is back to strength for his final ride at UK, he's had the chance to reflect on what pushed him through those years of injuries. He could have quit but he forged ahead for his team, his family and his son Keon West.
"It is great man," said Darius. "It is what drives me to do what I do and continue to do what I do. I didn’t know what I was getting into having my first child, but it has been a blessing for me in many ways and a blessing to my parents. That is my baby boy man. He is definitely what drives me."
With his son as his driving force, Darius has continued to play a pivotal role in UK's magical season and when his time at UK comes to a close, he wants to chase a dream his father nearly achieved. Play in the NFL.
"My dad stepped up and did a good job of taking care of me and my sister and that is what drives me to get over the hump and prove to my pops that we can do this in my family and the NFL is always my dream.”