Marcus Lattimore (Courtesy: Rivals.com)
By Chris Clark
Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes running back Marcus Lattimore is fine with talking about recruiting.
It's just not where his mind is right now. The big-time recruit with the equally big-time offer list is focused on winning another state championship at tradition-rich Byrnes.
"We've got that big one coming up next week," Lattimore said. "I'm ready and we're ready."
By that "big one," the nation's sixth-ranked prospect is referring to the Oct. 2 showdown against Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, a highly anticipated matchup between two power programs.
With football season in full swing, Lattimore has been afforded a little much-needed breathing room on the recruiting trail.
"Yeah, a little," he said when asked if things had slowed down. "Coaches are allowed to call now so I still talk with them a lot. I am really focused on these games that we have coming up. We've got a five game stretch coming up that is going to be tough."
Despite his busy schedule, Lattimore has made time to watch some college games, including one in Athens where he paid attention to two teams still on his list: Georgia and South Carolina.
"I thought they (USC) played very well at Georgia, especially in that environment," he said. "It was loud and the Georgia fans never sat down. They were loud the whole game."
Lattimore has said in the past that he would be taking heed of what each school on his list was doing on offense this season. What he think of USC's offensive efforts in that contest?
"I thought Garcia looked great in the pocket and made nice throws. The o-line also looked good and made some nice holes for B-Madd (Brian Maddox) and Jarvis (Giles). South Carolina should have really won that game."
A little more than a week before that contest, members of the Gamecock coaching staff, including head coach Steve Spurrier, traveled to watch Lattimore and Byrnes deliver a thrashing to Myrtle Beach.
"Ah man, that was sweet," he said. "I knew (Jay) Graham was coming but I had no idea that (Eric) Wolford, him, and Spurrier were coming. It was cool because they were watching me the whole time. Someone told me that Spurrier has only done that with Fred Taylor so it was pretty special."
Lattimore will be in Columbia on several occasions during the course of the season, starting with later this week.
"I am going to the Ole Miss game Thursday night and I would like to make it to the Florida, Clemson, and Vandy games," he said.
Joining Lattimore will be Gamecock target Nick Jones, and he provided an update on his injured teammate.
"He won't be able to play this week against Gaffney but he will be back for the Aquinas game. I am so excited because we need him for that game bad."
As for his official visit plans, he is close to completing them.
"I'm going to Florida State on the 9th (October), Auburn on Halloween, and Penn State on the 6th (November)," he said. "I'm going to go to Oregon after the season."
That leaves one slot for an official that several teams are vying for at this point. Who will get it?
"I don't know yet," he said. "It will either be North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia."
Lattimore noted that he still plans to decide near Signing Day and that he has no favorites.
The recruiter of record for Lattimore is Brad Lawing, with assists from several Gamecock staff members.
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