In the wake of Marcus Lattimore’s tragic knee injury, some 1,500 USC fans showed their support for their injured star on his birthday. It was a great gesture from the university to hopefully lift the spirits of the crushed running back and his family. The outpouring of love and support from many around the SEC and the country is quite unheard of for any single player. I’ve never seen anything like it, but it’s quite deserving for such a great young man who has had a lasting impact on the university.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley issued a proclamation designating Monday, October 29, 2012, as “Marcus Lattimore Day” throughout the state of South Carolina.

In a statement, Haley said, “Michael and I ask every South Carolinian to join our family as we lift up in prayer Marcus Lattimore and his mother Yolanda Smith during this challenging time. He has been more than just a Carolina football player – he is a great role model for our state.”

The crowd sang Lattimore “Happy Birthday”, and he responded to Steve Spurrier via text message that said, “Tell ‘em I’ll be back”.

But Spurrier also had some unanticipated words to say about Clemson and Dabo Swinney. Swinney and Spurrier have exchanged jabs over the course of a few months. And Swinney had some very kind things to say about Marcus Lattimore after his injury:

“Just absolutely took my breath away. I was watching it, and it breaks my heart. I am sorry for him and his family. This is a guy that represents all the good things that college football should be about. He is a class young man and so is his family and I know how hard he worked.

“If there is anybody I would bet on it is Marcus Lattimore. I know it will be a long process but I tell you what, I would put my money on Marcus Lattimore In a heartbeat. When he comes to terms with this, he will do everything he can to come back. My prayers go out to him and his family. I have been heavy-hearted for him.

“He is a winner in every regard. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of him from a football standpoint. He has been a great representative for his family and his university. I will lift him up in my prayers.”

And Spurrier being Spurrier couldn’t help but mention “that upstate school” in his speech to the crowd. Here’s a video of the celebration and speech from Spurrier about Lattimore, with his comments about Dabo Swinney and Clemson:

“A lot of quotes came across the nation and I read one from our upstate school – you know the school that used to beat us a lot that doesn’t beat us much any more. That one! Usually when that coach up there talks about South Carolina, it’s a bunch of garbage and a bunch of BS, but I have to agree with him on what he said the other day. He said Marcus Lattimore stands for what’s right about college football.”

Spurrier was trying to get the crowd riled up in a way only he can with the “garbage and BS” talk. Many made a big deal about his comments, but when put into context, it wasn’t that bad. But perhaps it just wasn’t the right time to do it.

Most Gamecocks fans, however, think there is never a bad time to take a shot at Clemson.