Marcus Lattimore's career was cut short by a pair of devastating knee injuries. While he holds plenty of records at South Carolina, he could have rewritten the history books had he stayed healthy. That he twice suffered season-ending knee injuries sucks for football reasons. But, more than that, it sucks for terrible-things-shouldn't-happen-to-great-people reasons.
With Marcus on the verge of competing for playing time in the San Francisco 49ers' backfield, it may be hard to remember how terrible everything seemed on October 27, 2012 -- that whether or not he would ever walk again was still very much in question.
This interview with Yolanda Smith, Lattimore's mom, jolts you back to the emotions you were feeling when he fell lifelessly to the turf more than a year and a half ago. It heightens them even, considering that you and I were feeling them as a fan or a friend. Yolanda was feeling them as a mother.
While Lattimore's importance to the ascendancy of South Carolina football is unquestioned, his mother is almost as inseparable from the lore of his recruitment. Steve Spurrier famously won her over by doing the Cha-Cha Slide on an in-home visit, and Yolanda was a fixture on the sidelines while her son was suiting up in the garnet and black.