Control what you can control: How journey through the fire led Generals RB Darius Victor to the USFL
The New Jersey Generals (5-1) will go head-to-head with the Tampa Bay Bandits (3-3) this Saturday afternoon at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama. RELATED: How to watch the New Jersey Generals vs Tampa Bay Bandits – TV/live stream info for Saturday afternoon’s USFL game “Life feels good when you’re winning,” says one of the men responsible for the Generals’ success, running back Darius Victor. Victor helped the Generals seal their fifth consecutive win last Sunday night, pushing QB Luis Perez into the endzone on a second effort quarterback sneak to give New Jersey a 26-25 lead as time expired. “Thick thighs save lives,” Victor recalls as he laughs about the game-winning play. "Thick Thighs Save Lives" 🤣🤣@yungvitov made sure to get this very important message through when he talked with @BrockHuard pic. With his light-hearted demeanor and self-described goofball personality, it would be hard to fathom the hell Darius Victor has walked through to get to where he is today. Victor, who is one of seven children (4 brothers, and 2 sisters), was born in 1994 in a refugee camp in Africa’s Ivory Coast after his parents, Gary and Patricia, fled the first Liberian Civil War. “Have you ever seen the movie Blood Diamond?” Victor asks, “That’s the type of environment I was born into. Victor and his family literally ran for their lives, hiding and sleeping in bushes for safety when their country was being torn apart by violence and bloodshed. “I was too young to remember what happened at the time,” Victor told NBC Sports.
“My older brother Kevin was my role model growing up,” Victor recalls. The duo, four years apart in age, went on to play football at Northwestern High School, sharpening each other with their competitive nature both on and off the field. “His passing has given me a mindset of toughness and resiliency. In October, just 10 months after Kevin’s passing, Darius was in the midst of a breakout senior season when the Victor family’s apartment burned down. “The toughest part wasn’t even losing our stuff but it was seeing my Mom and Dad cry again. With family at the forefront of his mind, Victor decided to play football at Towson University, where he earned a scholarship, roughly 45 minutes away from his hometown. “Coach Reno Ferri really believed in me and that gave me so much confidence,” Victor said. Victor, who only played in 4 games during his senior year of college due to a toe injury, went undrafted after graduating from Towson in 2017 but had several opportunities with NFL teams. “I’ve been through so much in life that I’ve grasped the concept of controlling what you control,” the 28-year-old said. For Victor, that meant showing up to train long hours after working a 9-5 job every day as a Sales Operations Manager at Penske and staying consistent no matter what — even when the CFL signed and cut him a day before he was supposed to leave for Canada (2019) and when the XFL season came to a sudden halt in the midst of a global pandemic (2020). But when the USFL finally called, selecting him in the 6th round of the Supplemental Draft, he was ready.
“Knowing all that my family has been through and the fact that we’re not even supposed to be here, every day I get is a blessing and I just want to make them proud. “I don’t care if you are a millionaire or dirt poor…life is going to life, but if you put God first everything will work itself out and that’s how I live my life. “Also, we have a little chip on our shoulder because in preseason we were projected to finish last in the league due to our ‘talent level’, so shout out to whoever released those preseason polls because it made us hungry. “I’m one of the older guys on the team so I consider myself to be one of the leaders and the ‘special teams captain’. “I think I’m pretty balanced but the thing that separates me the most is my physicality. “I have to listen to the song “I’m a dog” by Gucci Mane that puts me in my zone. “I have a superman Jesus cut-off shirt that I wear under my pads every game. “John Johnson, he’s the starting safety for the Cleveland Browns and also my best friend”. RELATED: 2022 USFL schedule Week 7 – How to watch/live stream this weekend’s spring football games RELATED: 2022 USFL TV Schedule – Dates and times for the 10-week inaugural football season
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