Lattimore narrowing down his list

DUNCAN, S.C. - After running through three games in the 2009 Palmetto State Showdown 7-on-7, Byrnes running back Marcus Lattimore took time between games to talk with

RB Marcus Lattimore Profile

The five-star, No. 1 rated running back will visit Rutgers and Penn State later this month after visiting Clemson, South Carolina and North Carolina this summer.

Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State and South Carolina make up Lattimore's final eight schools, but sometime before the end of July, Lattimore will trim those eight down to five.

One of the two state schools will make the cut, though he's yet to decide who it will be.

"The opportunity to play (at Clemson) is right there for me," Lattimore said. "They'll have three running backs. (Roderick McDowell and Andre Ellington) are good change of pace, speed guys, it'd be Jamie Harper and me battling."

He likes a lot about Clemson: the distance from home, fan base, coaches and sport management program.

The obvious, Lattimore said, is the chance to play with former Byrnes teammates Willy Korn, Chad Diehl, Stanley Hunter and Xavier Dye.

"I'd love to play with Will and Chad, he'll be blocking for me a fullback—that's my man," Lattimore said.

South Carolina is "still up there" too.

"I like the new offense they've got. They're featuring the running back more. That's kind of what I was looking for," he said. "I've heard the offensive line has gotten a lot better than last year…I'm anxious to see how the running game is and how they'll use Brian Maddox. That's the main thing I'm looking at."

When Lattimore pulls the trigger on his decision after Byrnes' season is over, it will come to down how the school uses its running backs how comfortable he feels.

Lattimore rushed 305 times for 2,314 yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior. As a sophomore he rushed for 1,836 yards on 284 carries.

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