A day after, the New Jersey Generals announced the re-signing of five core players. The team has announced the return of one of their most dynamic players, 2022 USFL offensive player of the year Darius Victor.
Victor, like his fellow General teammates, saw his original two-year USFL contract expire at season’s end. Sources are indicating that Victor’s new deal will have the same length.
In his two seasons with the Generals, Darius Victor has rushed for over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has been one of the most dynamic players in the entire league. Victor is staying home in the place that afforded him the avenue to be a star.
Darius Vito Victor, born on March 6, 1994, has emerged as one of the most promising running backs in the United States Football League (USFL). The New Jersey Generals‘ star player had a tumultuous journey, beginning with his birth in a refugee camp in the Ivory Coast during the First Liberian Civil War. But Victor’s resilience and unwavering determination propelled him to become the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year in the USFL.
Like many players who journey into the world of non-NFL leagues in the United States, Darius Victor has an amazing story of perseverance.
A Standout in High School and College
Victor attended Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he was the leading rusher in the state, amassing 2,107 yards and 31 touchdowns in his senior year. His exceptional performance led to all-state honors, but Victor was only ranked a 2-star recruit (73) by 247Sports.
At Towson University, Victor continued to excel on the field. As a true freshman, he gained 629 yards and scored seven touchdowns, earning him the title of CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year. Over his college career, Victor would accumulate more than 3,300 yards and 41 touchdowns.
The Road to USFL Stardom
Despite his success in college, Victor went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent time with the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, and Hamilton Tiger-cats before being selected by the New York Guardians in the 2020 XFL Draft. When the XFL suspended operations in April 2020, Victor found himself without a team once again.
But Victor’s story doesn’t end there. He was drafted by the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, where he emerged as a standout player. Victor’s exceptional performance in the 2022 season, which included nine touchdown runs, earned him the 2022 United States Football League Offensive Player of the Year award. He continued that success this past season.
A Symbol of Resilience and Determination
Darius Victor’s journey from a Liberian refugee camp to a star running back in the USFL is a testament to his resilience and determination. Despite facing numerous challenges, Victor never lost sight of his goals, and his relentless work ethic has made him a role model for aspiring pro football athletes.
Darius Victor’s journey back to playing pro football
The journey for Darius Victor has always been a challenging one. The hard-running Victor, who defenders struggle to tackle in the open field, has experienced some tough struggles in his personal and professional life. You’d never know it from his great smile and engaging demeanor.
Victor was born one of seven children on the Ivory Coast. He lived the first five years of his life in a West African refugee camp, and he didn’t arrive in the United States until 1999. Victor and his loved ones have been through the wars, literally, from his family escaping a dangerous war zone in Liberia to a fire that destroyed his family’s home a month after the shooting death of his older brother Kevin when he was only 18.
Darius Victor has experienced a lot of adversity. A running theme in his life and football career.
The 5’7 (maybe) Victor has always been overlooked. Even though, on the field, he has always stood out from the crowd. Victor attended Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. As a senior, Victor was the leading rusher in Maryland with 2,107 yards and 31 touchdowns. Earning him all-state honors. During his time at Northwestern, Victor also ran track and played basketball. Despite his favorable exploits in high school, Victor was only ranked as a 2-star recruit.
Victor entered college as a backup at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. In 2013, Victor found success playing behind running back Terrance West as a true freshman. He debuted at North Carolina Central and ran for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Victor would play in 14 games his first year, amassing 629 yards and seven touchdowns. As a result, he was named the CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year. Rob Ambrose, head coach at Towson University, once told the media that he sometimes had to remove Victor from short-yardage drills because he kept hurting his teammates with his hard-charging running style.
The 2014 season would be another successful campaign for Victor. The Tigers would hand over the reins to Victor after Terrance West departed for the NFL. Victor rushed for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns on 250 carries. Injuries would slow Victor down in his senior campaign. But he finished his college career with 3,309 yards and 41 touchdowns.
But despite being a superstar in college, Victor went undrafted in 2017. No UDFA signing either for Darius, and he would have to earn his spot in the NFL the hard way. Victor was invited to two separate NFL rookie camps on a tryout basis. (New York Jets/New Orleans Saints). The Saints would eventually sign Victor later that summer to a contract, but he would last only one month with New Orleans. The Saints backfield was tough to crack; it featured Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram. Ironically enough, Many who have watched Victor play in the USFL, like former NFL player and current broadcaster Michael Robinson have compared Victor’s running style to Mark Ingram.
In his short stay in the Bayou, Darius Victor did enough to impress the Arizona Cardinals and Bruce Arians, who signed him to their practice squad during the 2017 NFL season. However, he would never see the field during an NFL game in 2017. Bruce Arians would depart the desert, and Victor was eventually released twice by Arizona. The latter came at final cuts in the Summer of 2018.
Victor would try to latch on in Canada with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But his stay there ended before it started. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats told Victor that they had to cut him just as he was about to head north because they had given too many roster spots to non-Canadian players.
And then, after starring with the New York Guardians during the 2020 season, where he split duties in a three-headed backfield with Tim Cook and another USFL standout in Philadelphia’s Matt Colburn. Victor once again found himself without a football home when the league was halted due to COVID.
While many XFL players ended up and are still in the NFL. (nearly two dozen), Surprisingly, teams did not give “the thick-thighs save lives” tackle-breaking dynamo Victor a chance to make a roster. Both the 2020 and 2021 football seasons went by without Darius in uniform. There was interest from his former Guardians coaching staff in The Spring League. Kevin Gilbride, then with the Jousters, got the Guardian band back together in 2021, interestingly enough, with current Generals quarterback Luis Perez leading the charge. But, TSL players, by and large, not being compensated. Victor didn’t play last season.
Four years removed from being on an NFL roster and two years removed from playing in the XFL. Darius Victor was left on the outside, looking back on what could have been. That’s until the USFL came on the scene and gave Victor a chance at rebirth. Victor, who grew up a New York Giants fan, would end up with another tri-state area named team in the New Jersey Generals. And this Spring Pro League would reunite him with several of his former Guardians teammates. Most notably, quarterback Luis Perez.
In the USFL, 29-year-old Darius Victor is happy to be playing the sport he loves again. The FCS superstar from Towson admits that he doesn’t need much compensation to put his body on the line and that simply playing pro football again is enough for him.
In an interview, Darius Victor told R.J. Young that he would play for almost no pay. Victor’s asking price is very reasonable, and simply paying his bills and having something to eat would suffice. Anyone that has interacted with Victor personally knows that his words are genuine.
Victor’s actions on and off the field have shown his value to his team and teammates. Since day one, he has been a team leader; Generals head coach Mike Riley has repeatedly praised Victor throughout the season for keeping the entire locker room loose and together. The head coach and one of his star players have formed a great bond.
On the field, Darius Victor is arguably one of the most entertaining players to watch in the entire USFL. Week after week, play after play, Victor plays every down like it’s his last. He’s not taking a moment for granted and enjoying every step of his journey.
Darius Victor is content with his current situation, playing football again and leading his team as he runs toward a rushing title and potentially a USFL championship when the smoke clears.
At 29 years old, the odds are heavily against Darius Victor landing ever again on an NFL roster. Age and the numbers game are working against him. It’s been five years since he has been taken off NFL team radars. Once that happens to you as a player, it’s an indicator that your NFL chances have been knocked down for good. But if you’ve watched Victor’s performance throughout his career and recently in the USFL, you’d know that he never goes down easy. He’s still fighting to move forward. And that’s exactly what he has been doing and will continue doing, thanks to the existence of the USFL.