Marcus Lattimore may be one of the best players in the nation regardless of class. Scout.com's Burke Hayes says that Marcus is a star in the making and that he simply produces. Lattimore has a big body and uses size to get through the first level. At that point, he can accelerate away from second-level defenders. Has very good vision and is patient enough to let things develop. Marcus is a classic workhorse back as he is well-disciplined and gets better as the game goes on. Many schools offered him verbally this past year, but when September 1st came around those verbal offers became official. He says that even though his recruiting process is far away, he's happy how things have unfolded so far.
"Recruiting is going good," said the future 5-star back to NoleDigest. "I have 11 offers now. My coach told me they'd be coming but I am surprised that some of these top schools gave me the written offers. The latest schools to send me the letters were Tennessee, Duke, Nebraska and North Carolina. Schools like Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State had verbally offered me long ago but sent me the written offers last week."
Marcus grew up a big-time fan of the South Carolina Gamecocks. That aspect, along with the job Clemson has done keeping their talented players home, has led to many people thinking that the two in-state rivals will battle for Lattimore's signature next year. He told NoleDigest that is not the case, and that going out-of-state is a distinct possibility.
"That's why I am waiting until late in the process to make my decision," said Lattimore about the rumors going around that he'll stay in-state. "I'm open. There is a good shot as any that I could go out of state to play in college. Distance doesn't matter to me. I've gotten some local pressure to stay; people here are Clemson and South Carolina fans. I get that all the time. USC growing up was my favorite and I remember watching them play as a kid. I've never thought about getting a scholarship from there."
South Carolina isn't the only southern school that's coming hard after Lattimore. He says that Georgia and Florida State round out his top 3 schools at this time. He talked about what he likes about each school.
"With Georgia," said Lattimore, "I like the running backs they've had there. I like the coaches there and I had a good time when I went to a camp there. I like Coach Richt a lot as a head coach."
"I like Florida State, too," continued Lattimore as he talked about the other schools that round out his top 3. "As a matter of fact, I liked them too as a kid; I watched them a lot on television and remember guys like Peter Warrick and Chris Weinke. The thing with FSU is just that I haven't visited them yet. I'm really anxious to go there because Everett (Dawkins), Justin (Bright) and Brandon (Willis) have told me how amazing it is there. I put them at 3rd right now because I haven't made the visit. I'm thinking about coming down when they play Clemson. If I like the visit there will be no favorites anymore; all of my teams will be even."
There are a few factors that have propelled FSU into Lattimore's top 3 at this juncture in his recruitment. He says the fact that they've been building a pipeline at Byrnes, as well as future head coach Jimbo Fisher, are the reasons why the Seminoles are in heavy contention for him.
"One of the main reasons why FSU is in it is because my teammates have told me how amazing it is there," explained Lattimore. "I've heard Coach Dexter Carter is real down to earth. I'm anxious to meet him. Another reason is Jimbo Fisher. When he was up here for our banquet he talked to Everett and a couple of the guys. He said how he likes big backs and that I fit into the pro-style offense they run there. I've built up chemistry with him. He asked me what I want to major in, and I told him criminology. We talked about the different shows on television and stuff like that. He's also talked to my dad, too. I really like Coach Fisher a lot and we're building a good relationship."
While Marcus will be in no rush to make his decision, he does know that the school must have 3 factors going for them if they hope to land him come Signing Day 2010.
"I'll be looking at the academics," stated Lattimore," because this football thing may not work out, so I'll need that do something else. I'll also be looking at the facilities and how comfortable I am with the coaches."
Marcus' goals this year are to rush for 2,000 yards and help lead his team to the National Championship.
Once Lattimore visits FSU we'll know more where the Seminoles stand for him. If his teammates thoughts on the program are any indication, look for Lattimore to come away impressed with what he sees. Marcus will be one of the heaviest recruited athletes next year, so FSU must establish a good relationship with him to remain in it until he signs his letter of intent. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Marcus as we track his junior season and follow his recruitment as it heads into the fall.