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New York Guardians

From Côte d’Ivoire to Pro Football: The Darius Victor Story

towsontigers.com

The XFL is stacked with players who’ve come a long way to chase their dreams. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved, but few have come as far as Guardians RB Darius Victor, and few are as pumped for the season to kick off.

His life started in 1994 on the Ivory Coast in Africa, where his family had sought refuge from Liberia’s bloody civil war. The violence in their home country claimed roughly half a million lives, and his parents Gary and Patricia wanted a better life for their children. Darius and his 6 siblings lived in a refugee camp until 1999 when the family moved to Baltimore.

“I was little, so I don’t remember too much…I just know we were fortunate to make it out. Most people didn’t make it out. That’s why I feel like every day is a blessing. I watch documentaries, and it makes me say, ‘Wow, we’ve got out of that.’ I’m in a better place, so I just try to make the best of every day.” –nola.com

His family built a life for themselves in Maryland, where his parents worked hard to provide for and raise their children. Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Victor family when Darius’ older brother Kevin was shot and killed on his way home from playing basketball.

“I started playing football because of him,” said the younger Victor, who wore his brother’s No. 7 at Northwestern and recently switched to that number from No. 27 at Towson. “He had to take care of me when my mom and dad were working. They called him Vic, and he would say, ‘Hey, Little Vic, you want to play some football?’ … I’ve learned to accept it. It was hard, but I learned that he’s in a better place, and he’s watching over me” –baltimoresun.com

Throughout all the years, athletics and faith have been constants in Darius Victor’s life, and he’s played football for the past 15 years. Every time he’s on the field, he makes defenders feel his story with a punishing running style. He’s hard to bring down once he’s moving, but also shows good anticipation & quickness through the gap and has the speed to beat the edge. At 5’8″ ~220 pounds, he’s been compared to Maurice Jones Drew, CJ Anderson, and Priest Holmes.

He played college ball at Towson, where he learned behind NFL starter Terrance West. As West’s backup, he still had great production and was the CAA’s rookie of the year. In the next two years, he was First and Second-Team All-CAA, and in total put up 3,450 yards from scrimmage and 42 touchdowns in his time at Towson. Despite being a proven commodity, he went undrafted in 2017 and signed with the New Orleans Saints before spending two years with the Arizona Cardinals.

In preseason action, he was rock solid with 39 carries, 161 yards and a score at 4.1 yards a clip. He’s also flashed value as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He was signed to the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats this offseason but luckily ended up in the XFL Draft Pool. The New York Guardians got him in Phase 1 of the XFL Draft, and the rest of his story is now up to him.

I got the chance to talk to him, and it seems like the Guardians are a perfect fit. He’s gunning for the lead back role but has good complements in their RB stable with power back/H-back Tim Cook, and speedy guys like Matthew Colburn & Justin Stockton. Veteran QB Matt McGloin should keep defenses from stacking the box with his receiving corps that includes the vertically gifted Tanner Gentry, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi and Demarcus Ayers.

Beyond the talent around him, he like’s where he’s at.

“I honestly think we have the best uniforms in the league, can’t wait to suit up”

Darius Vito (27) with teammates Matthew Colburn (34), Justin Stockton (23) Tim Cook (Who always poses like this😂) (20) and Deangelo Yancey (11)

“Minicamp is exciting because football is being played again, hanging with your teammates is always a good time, always good laughs”

He’s got a great group of guys in that locker room, and Darius Victor has all the tools, all the drive he needs. He’s come a long way to make his impact in football, and it’s safe to say that he could become one of the XFL’s brightest young stars.

Matt Nagashima is a Sports Writer for XFL News Hub. Born in Denver and raised on the John Elway Super Bowl tapes, he has been following the game since he was a kid. He studied at Colorado State University and graduated with a Degree in History and Creative Writing. Writing about football is his forte, but he's also been published twice in literary journals and continues to build his portfolio

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