Lattimore injury sends shockwave through SEC, college football


Pads to the turf surrounded by trainers, Marcus Lattimore put his hands over his face at the 27-yard line Saturday afternoon as South Carolina and Tennessee players huddled in prayer.

Williams-Brice Stadium got deathly quiet in the second quarter as the worst fears of 80,250 fans were realized. Soon, the rest of the college football world would endure the gruesome replay and hurry away to social media.

South Carolina’s most widely-recognizable star, a transcendent talent who led the program to its first SEC East title in 2010, suffered another unfortunate season-ending knee injury, this one even more catastrophic than the first.

Lattimore took a handoff and went around tackle where he was met by a pair of Tennessee defenders, what appeared to be a Volunteer helmet obliterating his right knee. Lattimore collapsed in agony, the lower half of his leg horrifically rolling over his body. In 2011, Lattimore tore ligaments in his left knee causing him to miss South Carolina’s final six games.

Replay of the hit was not shown on the video board but several fans began watching the collision on their smartphones. Nightmare footage. Nothing I’ll ever watch again.

The effect of Lattimore’s injury is widespread. Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and LSU’s Les Miles expressed their concern on Twitter as well as Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, several current NFL Gamecocks and other notable athletes. University officials have not released the extent of the injury. That is expected sometime Sunday. Collectively a dedicated fanbase’s favorite player, seeing him go down again after nearly a year of rehabilitation following the first injury was depressing, unfair even.

Known for his work ethic and charisma, it’s tough to put Lattimore’s impact on the university into words, but head coach Steve Spurrier had this to say shortly after the game.

“As a person, there is none better that I’ve ever met,” the Head Ball Coach said. “He’s going to do wonderful things. I don’t know what field of life.”

If Lattimore has played his last down of college football, the game will have lost a true ambassador for the sport.



You must be logged in to post a comment. Please sign in or register

  • It’s hard to think of a situation that more college football fans around the country did not want to see go down. For this guy to battle back from the ACL last year and to still be a warrior and then to suffer what looks to be a more severe injury this year, it’s truly heartbreaking. I and many fans I’m sure were emotional watching this happen live on television (or in person). I hope he’s able to battle back and still have a pro career, but it looks like it could definitely be in jeopardy.

  • Horrible thing that happened. I was very proud of the Vols players that went out onto the field to support Lattimore. It was a great sign of the respect these guys have for eachother even when things are competitive on the field. The entire SEC loves and respects Marcus Lattimore. Here’s hoping he fully recovers.

  • This was just awful. It really put a damper on the rest of the games. It really did. I’m not sure there’s been a finer young man in which everyone rooted for. This was the worst looking injury I’ve seen since Tyrone Prothro. The disgusting magnitude of the injury really sent shockwaves around college football. It was awful, and I only hope he can return.

  • Spurrier: “The knee dislocated, but they got it back in quickly. … Marcus had a good attitude today. He knows what the road ahead is. We all hope and pray he’ll be back…Whatever the time frame this knee requires we will have to wait and see. We’re optimistic that his football days are still ahead of him.”

  • Words can’t express the respect I have for this young man, and the greatness he has shown on and off the field! Marcus Lattimore, you are a true warrior! Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • I’m definitely not a sc fan but this man is a true athlete i hope he comes back.

  • Early reports from the team doctor are saying he won’t even have a chance of playing again until 2014, and some reports are saying broken femur along with all four ligaments being torn, and a dislocated knee. Its surreal. Never do you want to see this. For anyone. But this is a guy who battled to come back from a knee injury in the torn ACL last season, just to be told well now its even worse and longer an injury. Can’t even imagine.

    • no breaks or tears and its possible he could play again this year.

      • Where have you heard that he could play this year? The buzz around campus has been his only shot to play again is to be redshirted and come back as a fifth year senior. Im just interested to know because varying information on the severity of the injury has been flying around.

  • I’ve never been a Carolina fan, but I respect the program. Way more than that, I hold this young man in extremely high regard. By all reports, he’s as classy as he is talented, and I hate that there is a real possibility that he may never be the same. My heart sank when I saw this happen, and I am still reeling. I hope and pray this awesome talent can battle back and further his stellar career.

  • its hard for me to say that the hit didnt look dirty, but i did see #24 for UT who made the hit, standing beside Lattimore while they were working on him and he seriously looked concerned. never seen anybody do that for a player they injured college or pro.

    • He led with his head a little but wouldn’t really call it dirty. I have to say I was happy to see that the official report from the university wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the other stuff floating around online, hopefully we’ll get to see this fine young man back on the field at some point hopefully as a Gamecock but if not in the NFL if he decides to go.

  • Will be a very emotional afternoon when he walks out with the team during 2001 in September 2014. Perhaps the loudest single moment ever at Williams-Brice Stadium. I expect a 5-plus minute standing ovation.

  • The latest news is encouraging. I’ve been praying for him since Saturday and hope he makes a full recovery. We all want to see him in the NFL one day!

  • It’s too bad, he was a great player. Here’s to hoping miracles exist… because this guy DESERVES one!

    He’s in my thoughts.