Marcus Lattimore Might be The Biggest Steal of the NFL Draft!
By Super Scout Max Emfinger
Marcus Lattimore might be biggest steal in The 2013 NFL Draft and the San Francisco 49ers picked him up in the Fourth Round of the Draft and the #131 Overall Pick in the Draft!
Back in the 2008 High School Football Season, Lattimore, as a Junior, led his Duncan Byrnes team to the South Carolina State Championship and in the process, he was given the consensus tag of being the 2010 Recruiting Class #1 Running Back in the Country.
When Lattimore raced 69-yards for a Touchdown on the second play from scrimmage, in the 4A State Championship Game and helped his Byrnes team win their second staight Championship, it started an unbelievable career for a player who has been Sensational when healthy, but with two surgically repaired knees at South Carolina, his stock was always going to be a question in the 2013 NFL Draft.
In that 2008 State Championship Game, Lattimore finished the game with an incredible 305-yards, including the 69-yard Touchdown, and he scored four Touchdowns and led Byrnes to a 31-21 Second Straight 4A State Championship.
I became aware of Lattimore in 2008 when Duncan Byrnes Defensive Coach Michael Srock was one of my East Team Coaches in my 2008 All-American Bowl Game Classic. That was in the 2007 State Championship Season and Lattimore was only a Sophomore. His teammate in that 2007 season was a Super Defensive End by the name of Everett Dawkins and Dawkins played in my 2008 All-American Bowl Game and was voted as the Defensive Game MVP in our Game. Coach Strock was telling me about Lattimore and a loaded group of athletes in the Sophomore Class.
Dawkins Signed with Florida State and he joins Lattimore in the 2013 Draft Class as he was Drafted in the Seventh Round by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Dawkins was at Florida State for five years, while Lattimore was at South Carolina for three years. That’s why they ended-up in the same 2013 NFL Draft.
Then in 2009, Byrnes lost the State Championship, but Lattimore rushed for 159-yards, two Touchdowns, and finished the season with 1,898-yards and 31 Touchdowns. In that 2009 season, those great Sophomores of the 2007 and 2008 State Championships, got to play in some various All-American Bowl Games.
Lattimore joined his DE Byrnes Teammate Brandon Willis in the U.S. Army All-American Game; plus other U.S. Army teammates, including 2013 Draftees DT Sharif Floyd, SS Matt Elam, WR Robert Woods, WR Keenan Allen, and RB Spencer Ware.
Byrnes DE Corey Miller played in the Under-Armour All-American Game and joined 2013 Draftees OT Luke Joeckel, WR Justin Hunter, LB Alex Ogletree, DE William Gholston, DE Corey Lemonier, and WR Da’Rick Rogers. Three other Byrnes Super Teammates were WR Nick Jones, WR Jazz King, and DE Roland Johnson and they joined 2013 Draftee DE DaMontre Moore and they all played in my 2010 All-American Bowl Game Classic.
With Dawkins at Florida State, the Seminoles were probably always going to get an Official Visit from Lattimore. And then, Clemson was also a major factor. Alabama and Auburn were always in the picture, along with Georgia, Oregon, and Penn State. North Carolina came into the picture at the end. I believe that the biggest difference for the Gamecocks was Head Coach Steve Spurrier and he eventually got his man. Coach Spurrier changed his offense to accomodate Lattimore and it actually paid dividends.
After three sensational seasons as a Gamecock, but with two of those seasons cut short with crippling knee injures, there is still a major concern about both knees, but Lattimore is a very high energy player with impeccable character and an unbelievable work-ethic.
The Gamecocks used Lattimore in a One-Back Tailback Offensive-Formation. He has outstanding strength and power, but he is also a great pass-catcher, coming out of the backfield. In the NFL, Lattimore projects as a 300-carry back and with his tremendous character traits, he is also a great leader in the offensive huddle.
When he is healthy, Lattimore is not a Speed-Burner, but most NFL Scouts believe that he can run a 4.5 in the Forty. In High School, I had him as a 4.42-4.44 guy and he did a 32-inch Vertical Jump. At South Carolina Pro-Day, Lattimore measured 6-0 and weighed 221-pounds. His hands measured 9 7/8 which is really good for a skilled player and it helps in catching passes.
The San Francisco 49ers already have an All-Pro Running Back in Frank Gore and not only one, but two young backfield potential Super-Stars in Kendell Hunter and LaMichael James and so they do not need for him to come in and be a starter. The 49ers also have the luxury of giving another potential All-Pro Running Back a chance to heal both knees before he has to play in an NFL Game.
His Doctor, Dr. James Andrews, told both ESPN and the 49ers that he thought that Lattimore was a little ahead of schedule in his recovery and that he might even be ready to play in the Fall. Of course, this sounds great, but nobody can really know for sure, except Marcus Lattimore.
Lattimore tore his left ACL in 2011 and then after his comeback in 2012, he tore three ligaments and had a dislocated knee in a tearful and horrifying National Television scene that I can still remember.
Every Week during the College Football Season, I Selected a College Football Players of the Week Team and on November 6, 2012 in Week #10, this is what I wrote about The South Carolina Gamecoacks and Marcus Lattimore.
Quarterback MVP – Connor Shaw – South Carolina – Shaw was outstanding again as he led his Gamecocks to a close 38-35 victory over Tennessee in Knoxville. In leading the Gamecocks, Shaw completed 22 of 32 passes for 356-yards and three touchdowns and he also rushed for 33-yards and another touchdown, giving him 389-yards of total offense and four touchdowns in the crucial victory for the Gamecocks. In this game, RB Marcus Lattimore rushed for 65-yards, but he damaged his knee and will be lost for the rest of the season. My Heart and Prayers go out to Marcus Lattimore and his family, friends and teammates in his recovery.
On the following Monday, about 1,000 people gathered to wish Lattimore on his 21st birthday and a speedy recovery from his devastating knee injury that he suffered in the Tennessee game on the previous Saturday. Lattimore Jersey #21 were all over the area in front of the McKissick Museum on South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe. Cards were made and balloons were brought, as people sang “Happy Birthday” to support their most cherished star. Governor Nikki Haley, who is a huge Clemson Fan, declared it “Marcus Lattimore Day” in the state of South Carolina. Although the injury looked horrible on Saturday, Lattimore says: “I’ll be back.”