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Damon West to appear on Golf Channel show Wednesday

Recent and current college football stars have taken heed to Damon West’s message of being a “coffee bean.”

Rookie Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud, a two-time national champion at Clemson, likened the message to helping the team change its fortunes in the return game. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, a Channelview native and 2017 national champ with Alabama, reportedly models his life after the “coffee bean” analogy.

They both have told reporters about West’s message, which has been spread to countless college football programs, student bodies and other organizations in the past three years:

“Egg will harden, carrot will soften, coffee beans spread,” McCloud told the Panthers’ website.

Not only has West, a former high school and college quarterback from Port Arthur, traveled across the country about changing the environment and making good decisions, he’s also taken his message to national television, appearing on Eternal Word Television Network and the syndicated The 700 Club.

“I never saw it coming,” West said, when he did his first speech at Lamar University three years ago.

On Tuesday, West was in Orlando, Florida, along with author Jon Gordon to tape a segment for Golf Channel’s Morning Drive talk show that will air around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday. The two co-authored The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change, but met for the first time Monday.

“We go 10 months without knowing each other, and now we’re doing a show together,” West said on a Facebook video Tuesday.

The Morning Drive interview comes on the heels of an announcement West made that his first book, The Change Agent: How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed his World, is being shopped around to screenwriters and production companies to be turned into a movie. Although West stresses no deal has been finalized, UCLA coach Chip Kelly verbally suggested actor Mark Wahlberg play West in such a picture.

A video endorsement by Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney three years ago opened up opportunities for West, who now lives in Nederland, to speak to other college programs. West also credits Swinney with helping The Coffee Bean become a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

The Coffee Bean, West said, is centered around one life lesson, unlike The Change Agent.

The Change Agent is about my life and everybody who made me who I am and God, who has opened doors for me,” West said. “It’s about hope, redemption, God, faith and survival.”

West was released on parole in 2015 after serving seven years of a 65-year prison sentence for his role in Dallas’ “Uptown Burglaries” while dealing with a drug addiction. Today, he has a partnership with the Port Arthur Police Department and Port Arthur ISD to speak in the city’s schools.

“I go all over, but Port Arthur is my home,” West said. “To positively impact the kids in my hometown, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

**This version CORRECTS the year in which West was paroled**

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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