Marcus Lattimore

Discussion in 'Mock Draft Talk' started by srrono, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. srrono

    srrono Hall of Fame

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    If RB Marcus Lattimore is still on the board when the Texans compensatory pick comes up at the end of the 3rd round would you guys take that pick? I am thinking that at that point Lattimore would be a low risk high reward player. Lattimore could miss the season or be a late starter to season but would upgrade the talent of the team in 2014 when Tate would be a FA.
     
  2. powda

    powda Hall of Fame

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    Sounds a bit high for a player who wont contribute next year. I'd be comfortable with a late 4 and beyond.
     
  3. PapaL

    PapaL Loose Screw

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    I'd take him...assuming our crack pot medical staff approves.
    The guy can flat out play. Everything that's been reported is that he will return to his former self.

    As much as I like Tate, his days in Houston are numbered.
     
  4. SAMURAITEXAN

    SAMURAITEXAN Subscribed Contributor

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    I will be very temped to say at least. He may not contribute next year but what he may bring on his second year that intrigues me. I'd mention on other thread that I wouldn't mind taking Lattimore in the mid rd so I guess to roll a dice and see what happens. In the 4th definitely. Perhaps, trade Tate for pick (3rd or 4th) and use that pick to draft Lattimore?
     
  5. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    I'd be happy if Jerry Jones drafted him. :pop:
     
  6. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    THE RETURN OF MARCUS LATTIMORE

    Have you stood lately in the South Carolina sun? On the right day it does not so much sizzle and sear as it does bully, causing grown men and women to wilt and wince and rush for the nearest cover.

    It’s a June morning in Spartanburg, a town of about 38,000 not far from the North Carolina border, and it’s hot, the type of day where those standing outside can’t help but notice the time. As the noon hour closes and the sun passes straight overhead, the shadows disappear. As they go, there, too, goes any chance to find shade.

    But this is the South, and no soaring temperature, certainly not one only months before the real work for the year will begin on high school and college fields across the state, can stop football.

    On a patch of turf sunken between a rec center and a quiet two-lane road, some 100 kids have gathered to catch and run and learn how better to play the game. The children range in age from 5 to 16, and they seem oblivious to the heat. They laugh and shriek as they go through drills, flipping tractor tires and charging around pads laid in sequence on the field.

    But one voice booms above them all. It is unrelentingly positive. It starts around 8 a.m. and does not quit until the camp itself does sometime after lunch.

    “Good job!” it yells. “Great work! Good! Good! Good!”

    The kids at this football camp have arrived to improve their technique and conditioning, but really many have come to see the man behind these bellows, the one who is just 23 years old and has already been something like state royalty for half a decade.

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    Photo: Ken Osburn

    Marcus Lattimore is magnetic. Children of all backgrounds draw to him at the camp that carries his name, hanging off every word, staying late for autographs and pictures. A handshake or fist bump exchanged with the former Gamecocks running back here will become news to share with the other kids at school. Adults? They want a piece, too. Away from the camp, anywhere they play SEC football, he says, but without question all across South Carolina, Marcus cannot walk two feet without being stopped. “Are you … ?” one woman began at a restaurant last month, cocking her head while Marcus ordered his meal.

    Forgive her uncertainty. Marcus has recently shorn his trademark braids, the hair he wore for years as he cut up college football one breathtaking run at a time, and so it may take some a second glance for his presence to register. Though with every signature request, every baby shoved in his hands for a spontaneous photo, Marcus greets each fan, black or white, young or old, South Carolinian or not, with warmth. This is life for him now, back home after an incomplete go at the NFL. He spends his days in the community much like a politician, even though Marcus seeks no public office.

    He is a natural with his people, and returned to the state that nurtured his stardom. And yet what many he meets will fail to realize is that each smile he gives away brings something back in return. Every grin is restorative for Marcus, another moment of happiness removed from the personal anguish he so recently suffered, another opportunity to serve a new role in life.

    From a distance, Marcus’ story appears to be the well-worn tale of the transcendent athlete, destined for such greatness but chopped down, instead, by injury. His legacy on the field, no matter what he achieved as a college star who was once discussed as a top Heisman Trophy candidate, is most commonly recalled by potential left unfilled, by what should have been but will never be.

    Yet the untold side considers an even darker time for the one-time football savior, of the emotional torment and mental toil that came with no longer being able to play the game he once believed would define his life. For Marcus, who was on the fast track to NFL glory before he was hurt in a famously stomach-churning collision on a college field in 2012, the hardest part of his gruelling rehabilitation may not have been the squats or the strength drills or any painful balance exercise he was forced to grit through.

    Instead, it was the psychological torture that almost ruined him, that threatened to bury the cheerful boy only those closest to him could see was hurting. It was one thing to fight through years of agony and frustration to get back to where Marcus could resemble at least a facsimile of his former self with the football under his arm. It was quite another matter finally to relent, to conclude that he could only fake it for so long before the world learned the one secret he had not shared with a single soul. Then, and only then, could Marcus accept it was time to move on and find his value elsewhere.

    “I went out there and put a smile a smile on my face like everything was alright,” Marcus says today of his pro football career, which ended last fall short of his ever getting to play a single down in the NFL. “But it was hell. Every day.”

    There was always something different about this boy, Yolanda Smith thought, something about how her son carried himself, how he was so self-sufficient, how he seemed naturally to know what was right and what was not. “He was that kid from yesteryear,” she says. “I learned how to be a better person from watching him.”

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Raised in northwest South Carolina, Marcus was the youngest of three children. He lived first in the tiny town of Reidville before the family moved to Duncan, a relative metropolis where little more than 3,000 call home. Each day after school, Marcus would begin a routine devised by his own plan. He would arrive home, grab a snack, watch precisely 30 minutes of cartoons, spend precisely 30 minutes outside, and come back in for homework. He was the kind of child his parents could place on autopilot. In church, Yolanda presumed Marcus’ head was always in the clouds, never paying attention or caring to pick up his bible to read. But sure enough, if you turned to a verse and asked Marcus to recite, he often knew it to the letter.

    Money was sometimes a problem for the family, especially so when Marcus was nine and his mother and father, former Spartanburg High football standout Archie Lattimore, were going through divorce. After school let out for the summer one June, Marcus, his sister, Eboni, and a nephew Yolanda was raising were forced by court order from the home they lived in, which belonged to Marcus’ father (in addition to her children, Yolanda also raised a niece and nephew as her own; she later remarried, adding two stepchildren to the mix.)

    Yolanda had nowhere to turn. Her family was back in Atlanta, though to bring her children across state lines to live with relatives would have risked her losing custody. For a time they were homeless, eventually settling in with a woman who opened her basement so the four could have a place to sleep. It was six weeks before Yolanda could secure an apartment of her own.

    Marcus was drawn to football early. He enjoyed other sports, like basketball and bowling, and took a quick interest in movies (his first viewing of Goodfellas was in the eighth grade), but football soon came to be the most prominent thing in his life. “What did I do when I wasn’t playing football?” Marcus asked himself recently when prompted with the question.

    He was good right away, though never quite enough to his own mind. As a star running back in high school, even as a freshman receiving letters from a dream list of major college programs, Marcus was plagued with self-doubt. He would look at other backs from rival schools and marvel at their speed. It drove him. I’ve got to get faster, he demanded of himself at each workout, through each sprint drill. I’ll never be great until I get faster.

    The first formal offer for Marcus’ service as a student-athlete came from Clemson in his sophomore year. Then the University of South Carolina sent one, too. “After that,” Marcus says, “it was everybody.” The recruiting trail was a wild ride for Marcus, who quickly became one of the nation’s most prized prospects. Auburn came after him hard. So did Georgia. Before the fall of the program after the sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno had Marcus to his home in State College for dinner and fresh-baked cookies. The Penn State coach was sharp and funny, Marcus thought during his visit, but, boy, he sure reminded him of some of those old capos he’d seen in the gangster movies he loved.

    In high school, Marcus was transcendent on the field, scoring 104 touchdowns over four years for Duncan’s Byrnes Rebels, which he led to state titles in 2007 and 2008. During his final season, in 2009, Marcus won the South Carolina Mr. Football Award. He graduated as the nation’s finest running back recruit, according to Scout.com, but through it all he kept a level head, thanks in no small part to the women he held nearby, who never bought into his growing celebrity. His mother’s knowledge of football was so slight that she would insist Marcus wear red socks during his high school games so Yolanda could identify him on the field. When Marcus was a senior, his girlfriend Miranda Bailey noticed perfectly organized boxes in his home with folders holding the offers Marcus received from colleges across the country. Miranda couldn’t quite understand; she’d never followed football all that closely. “So you don’t have to apply for school and apply for scholarships like me?” she wondered. “You get to go for free?”



    Marcus chose to become a Gamecock following a visit to his home led by South Carolina’s venerable coach, Steve Spurrier. Yolanda cooked chili and cornbread as the snow fell outside, however the dinner was initially a dud. Spurrier and Yolanda did not click right away, and Yolanda decided early that evening she did not want her to son to play under the lights in Columbia. Yet as the night went on she and Spurrier began to hit it off. All of a sudden, there was music, and the old coach soon found himself sliding to the left, sliding to the right, and taking it back now, y’all. “We were all in there trying to do the Cha Cha [Slide],” Spurrier recalls, referencing DJ Casper’s novelty dance hit. His dancing was not particularly proficient, but it was successful. “After he did that,” Marcus says now, rather enjoying the recollection of his coach’s moves, “(mom) loved him to death.”

    Fame arrived readily for Marcus as he began a legendary college career in 2010. As a freshman he was such a breakthrough star that he was soon unable to attend parties or even stride through campus without being mobbed. There became two sides to Marcus: the unstoppable running back, who broke 42 tackles in a 17-6 win over Georgia on Sept. 11 and later stormed for 212 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-14 blowout of Florida on Nov. 13, or the shut-in, who was so popular at school there were times he could only sit idly by as notes and autograph requests were slipped by the handful under his dorm room door.

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    After his first season, in which he scored an incredible 19 touchdowns on 1,609 yards from scrimmage, The Sporting News and CBS Sports named Marcus the national college football freshman of the year. Marcus’ signing and debut performance were a triumph for Spurrier, proof the flagging Gamecock program was turning a corner. The team won nine games in 2010 — the second-best finish in school history, and South Carolina’s most victories in a season since 2001, when Lou Holtz was still coach. The Gamecocks entered 2011 ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press preseason poll, the first time in nearly a decade the AP had acknowledged South Carolina as one of the country’s best 25 teams going into a season. The school was becoming a true contender in the SEC.

    A tear of his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a 14-12 win over Mississippi State on Oct. 15 stopped Marcus’ sophomore year in its tracks, but he returned to begin the 2012 season with 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 17-13 win over Vanderbilt on Aug. 30. Each game that followed added strength and mobility to his surgically repaired knee, and the Gamecocks rolled as Marcus did, surging to 6-0 to begin the year and rising as high as No. 3 in the national rankings. South Carolina dropped the next two games, falling to No. 9 LSU and No. 3 Florida. But by Oct. 27, when the team hosted Tennessee at Williams-Brice Stadium, Marcus felt whole again. Finally, he was 100 percent, feeling not only as strong as he had felt since having surgery but perhaps in the best shape of his entire life.

    The night before kickoff, Marcus, the only junior voted a team captain, addressed the Gamecocks. “Guys,” he began, invigorated, “go out there and play this game like it’s your last. Because it may be your last.”

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    Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT via Getty Images

    The play call came in the second quarter. South Carolina led 21-14, and Marcus had been superb to that point, rushing for more than...​


    A long, good read.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    eriadoc and PapaL like this.
  7. PapaL

    PapaL Loose Screw

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    That kid had "it". He was going to be special. Damn shame. I had high hopes for him.
     
  8. Mollywhopper

    Mollywhopper Facilitator

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    I still think watching what happened to this kid is what caused Clowney to ole his last year at SC.
     


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