Remember when Marcus Lattimore was tearing up the collegiate gridiron?
He burst upon the scene as a freshman at South Carolina, rushing for 1,197 yards and 17 TDs while also amassing 412 receiving yards with 2 TDs in 13 games. High hopes followed him into his sophomore year and it looked like he was going to surpass his freshman year as, through 7 games, he rushed for 818 yards with 10 TDs and also chipped in 182 receiving yards and 1 TD. But then a knee injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Lattimore bounced back and started out strong, going for 662 rushing yards and 11 TDs through 9 games. But lightning struck twice and his season ended with another devastating knee injury, this time to his other knee. He declared for the NFL and was drafted by the 49ers in the fourth round, but his career never came to fruition, so he retired at the age of 23.
He got into coaching at the high school level, but he got a call from Gamecocks' coach Will Muschamp, who wanted him to join his coaching staff at his alma mater, a move the NCAA deaded due to Lattimore working camps for high school players in the state. But just like when he suffered the injuries at SC, Marcus refused to be deterred, so he fought against the obstacles presented by the NCAA and found a resolution that will allow him to join Muschamp's staff as a director for player development. He will continue to run the camps but, according to The State, he just can't be present at them.
“There’s more to life than football,” said Lattimore in an interview with WACH Fox. “You’re not (at USC) just to play. You’re here for a higher purpose. You can use that. You can use football and not let football use you.”
Muschamp was thrilled to have the former Gamecock on his staff, where he will be helping to guide players both on and off of the gridiron.
“No one knowns how to handle adversity and success as a Gamecock more than Marcus Lattimore,” said Muschamp. “He could have gone anywhere in the country and decided to stay here. He positively affects everyone around him. He has an infectious attitude and personality and is a first-class individual. He’ll be a tremendous asset to our organization.”