For those of you who don’t know who
Marcus Lattimore is please do a quick “Google” search for him. Marcus Lattimore, Junior at the University of South Carolina, is one of the best Running Backs to play college football in quite some time. Lattimore suffered a
torn ACL midway through his sophomore season and made an incredible recovery and was ready to start his Junior Season. Unfortunately tragedy struck Lattimore and the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon’s game versus the Tennessee Volunteers. His right knee was dislocated and sustained significant ligament damage requiring surgery and maybe needing more than a year of rehabilitation. Lattimore was released from the hospital Sunday night.
The scene on the field was emotional and chilling. After a long intermission both teams met at the center of the field and the stadium erupted to show Lattimore love and support before he was carted off the field. Why the support? Because both teams knew. Because both fan bases knew. Because any college football fan knew. Marcus Lattimore is a class act. He is humble; he works hard and is a phenomenal role model. Everyone knows the struggle and adversity he faced to make a speedy recovery from his torn ACL last year. And to watch the gruesome injury he sustained on Saturday was painful, whether you were a fan or not. It was painful not only because the gruesome nature of the injury, but painful because you felt pain for this great young man and his long road to recovery.
So has the support for Lattimore stopped? No. Lattimore has received support from rival coaches Mark Richt (Georgia) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson). He has also heard from sports and entertainment superstars like
Tim Tebow and Darius Rucker. If that wasn’t enough, support from politicians has even poured in. U.S Senator Lindsey Graham brought a bi-partisan letter from the State Congressional Delegation about the wonderful influence Lattimore has had on South Carolina. Vice-President Joe Biden shared good wishes for the young Running Back. And South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a huge Clemson fan, declared it “Marcus Lattimore Day” in the state on October 29
th. Yesterday was Lattimore’s 21
st birthday…I’m sure he didn’t envision spending his birthday nursing a knee injury. Well South Carolina coach
Steve Spurrier led a rally with 2,000-3,000 Gamecock fans to show support and wish Lattimore a “Happy Birthday!” Spurrier said “This is not a memorial service. This is a happy birthday to Marcus and an appreciation for everything he’s done and is going to continue to do for South Carolina.” And then Spurrier gave out a gift to all the Gamecock fans…”The message he (Lattimore) gave me was,
‘I’ll be back.’”
all hope so. Not just Gamecock fans, but every college football fan across the country. I’ve watched Marcus Lattimore beat up on my beloved Georgia Bulldogs on 3 occasions and I would love to see it again one more time. We wish #21 a speedy recovery and genuinely look forward to watching him again running around on the field. Written By: Jeremy Clouse