Marcus Lattimore's Inner Strength, P&C profile

Marcus Lattimore, on his way to 187 yards against the Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

When Ken Griffey, Jr. retired this summer, I confided to a close friend friend that I doubted there would ever be another athlete I looked at the way my entire generation viewed Junior. It's different when you are out of college and older than the guys you follow on the field every Saturday, but Travis Haney's terrific profile of Marcus Lattimore and similar stories are already inspiring a similar type of devotion towards the young Gamecock running back.

My favorite excerpt by far is the story of Lattimore as a freshman:

Lattimore was riding around with Vernon Smith, who would eventually become his stepdad... Out of nowhere, Lattimore spoke up. He had been thinking about football, evidently.

"If I work hard, really hard, do you think I could get a tryout to play at Newberry or Wofford?" Marcus asked Vernon.

If you have ever worked with high school athletes, you recognize how rare it is to find this level of humility. I know kids who will be lucky to get D-II offers who believe they will jump to the NBA after a couple of years at UConn or Kentucky, and they exhibit their delusional arrogance to anyone who will listen.  Lattimore was already recognized by peers and coaches as a rare talent, but was only focused on maximizing his ability in the hopes that he could get a 1-AA or D-II scholarship. 

After a couple of Palmetto State high school legends flamed out in Columbia over the last decade, with no legacy but their value as cautionary tales, the Gamecocks finally have a homegrown superstar that gets it.  I still think I am past the age of idolizing athletes, but it is good to know there are Marcus Lattimores out there for the children of South Carolina.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Garnet And Black Attack

You must be a member of Garnet And Black Attack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Garnet And Black Attack. You should read them.

Join Garnet And Black Attack

You must be a member of Garnet And Black Attack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Garnet And Black Attack. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker