USC running back Marcus Lattimore has earned co-SEC Offensive player of the week honors. The freshman out of Byrnes High School rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Gamecocks 17-6 win over Georgia over the weekend.
Lattimore is sharing the award with Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Richardson had 207 yards of total offense (144 rushing) in Bama’s win over Penn State Saturday. Richardson is filling in reigning Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram. Ingram has missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury.
Lattimore already entered USC with an almost mythical status because of his high profile recruiting process. Despite the lofty expectations he has done everything in his power to keep an even keel and deleiver when called upon to do so. Steve Spurrier has said repeatedly that he is not concerned about the publicity and expectations getting to Lattimore.
Spurrier figuratively rode Lattimore to get Carolina its first home win over Georgia in a decade. After a couple of sacks and a lost fumble by Stephen Garcia, the Head Ball Coach decided he was going to keep feeding number 21.
Lattimore carried the ball 37 times against the Bulldogs.
You can count Garcia among the many in the ever growing Lattimore fan club. The junior signal caller has no problem handing the ball to Lattimore 30 times a game if, especially if it is going to lead to more SEC wins.
There is no doubting Lattimore is a gifted young player, his skills and physical attributes are incredible for a guy his age. The Gamecocks have had some pretty talented guys come down the pipe at tailback the past ten years, but they all carried as much baggage as they did talent. Lattimore has his head on straight and very well may develop into one of the top backs the Gamecocks have rolled out in a long time. It is still early, really early in fact, but Lattimore certainly has the look of a player that has a chance to be special.