Class of '09 Q&A with LB DeDe Lattimore

Read this exclusive interview with USF class of '09 LB DeDe Lattimore. Find all about the Georgia Defensive Player of the Year, his eligibility, how he feels about the recent coaching changes at USF, and much more. Stay informed with

DeDe Lattimore Profile  How have things been going now that all the signing day hype is past?
DeDe Lattimore: Things are going very well. I've basically just been playing basketball, running track, working out, and retting ready for our track meet.

USFN: I understand you just got cleared by the NCAA?
DeDe: Yes sir. They sent me an e-mail two days because I had to send my SAT scores back to them. I made a 900 on it. I have a 2.3 GPA, and basically I just have to maintain that this semester.

USFN: Was it a relief to get that off your shoulders?
DeDe: Yes sir it is. I was confident I could do it, but my mom is real happy and it took a lot of relief off of her.

USFN: Why did you choose USF?
DeDe: I basically chose USF because I loved it. I liked the coaching staff, the players and the whole environment there. I liked the campus, their facilities, and I like how they're moving up."

USFN: Have the coaching changes at USF affect you at all?
DeDe: No sir it really hasn't. I spoke a lot with Coach Gregory, Coach Leavitt and Coach Burnham, but I spoke a lot with Coach Leavitt and I like him as a Head Coach. Coaching changes happens and its part of the game. I chose them basically because I love everything about the school, and I felt really comfortable.

Have you been following the Bulls this season?
DeDe: No sir not as much as I would have liked.  I caught a few games here, Central Florida and West Virginia, and the bowl game.

USFN: Which coach made the biggest impression on you during your recruitment?
DeDe: I'd probably say Coach Leavitt. I think he's a cool awesome dude, and I think he loves the game and also cares about academics and everything else.

USFN: Do you know any of the current players on the Bulls?
DeDe: I know Patrick Hampton. He went to school about 45 minutes away from me. We're cool, I know him and when we see each other we would talk. I met some others on my visit, and they were all real cool and nice, but I don't really know them yet.

USFN: What position are the Bulls recruiting you for, and do you play any other positions?
DeDe: They're recruiting me for linebacker. They haven't really talked about what position, but I know it will be linebacker. I also played running back in high school. I like playing on offense, but I like hitting people more than receiving it.

USFN: Do you feel playing running back helps you at LB?
DeDe: Yes sir I do, I really do. I feel that when I play running back I hit the holes and see the gaps, and when I'm at linebacker, I can see the holes and see the gaps quicker, so I go right to it and meet the running back there in the backfield.  

USFN: What type of a defense do you like to run the most?
DeDe: I like playing in the 3-4 and the 4-3. I like the 4-3 because it keeps the linemen off the linebackers.

USFN: Do have a favorite play that you like to run?

DeDe: Probably when we play meet. Like when a middle linebacker goes on a blitz route. I like to blitz just because I like to blow up somebody. 

USFN: Do you have a favorite move? 
DeDe: My favorite move is probably a punch. Like when I give him a forearm to move him and punch him in the chest.  

USFN: Is there a play that catches people off guard?
DeDe: When I run the ball I'd probably say my speed, they're not used to seeing somebody my size that can run that fast, and have my agility and quickness. The same thing translates to linebacker. I can move sideline to sideline real well. I like running and go getting them.

USFN: Do you play special teams? 
DeDe: I play special teams. I like kick-off and punt coverage.  

USFN: What are some of your strengths as a player? 
DeDe: I'd say it's my size and my speed. A player will think they're by me and I'm right on them.

USFN: Is there anything that you would like to work on as a player?
DeDe: I'd probably say just work on my patience. I have good tools and always want to work on getting better.

USFN: What is your favorite thing to do on the field?
DeDe: I like to get a sack. When you hit somebody in the backfield and pick them up and dump them. The crowd goes wild, and everything. It just feels so good, and makes me feel exuberant.

USFN: What is the perfect play to you?
DeDe: On offense it's breaking the big play for a score. On defense I'd say I really like getting that big hit. When you hit somebody off guard and they don't see you and you totally blindside them. It gets the crowd going, and it intimidates them. There's nothing like it.

USFN: What is your most memorable moment on the field?
DeDe: When I scored my first touchdown as a sophomore. It was in a rivalry game with a couple seconds left in the third quarter. It was like one of my first carries, and I got the ball and just took it for a score. It was awesome.

USFN: Is there a player on another level, college or pro that you model your game after?
DeDe: I like Ray Lewis, I've like him for a long time.


USFN: What are your current height, weight and 40 yard time?
DeDe: I'm 6'1 ½, and 225 pounds. I run a 4.5

Do you play any other sports?
DeDe: I play basketball. I play small forward and average 8 points and 10 rebounds. I also run track. I'm competing in the 100, 4x1, and shot put.  

USFN: What are you going to do to stay in shape before you get to Campus?
DeDe: I'll just be doing the same thing I've been doing. Working out and keep going to track practice and working on getting better.

USFN: Have you started using the strength book USF sent you and is it different?
DeDe: I been using it, but it's not that different. It's kind of the same as what we use. I don't know how my coach knew, but a lot of the conditiong is the same, like the 300 shuttle and everything, so I think I'll be used to it and be okay.

USFN: How do you feel if USF asks you to redshirt? 
DeDe: I won't matter to me if they ask me to. They'll know what's best for me.

USFN: How do you feel to be part of USF's first top 25 signing class?
DeDe: Oh man, I feel very good about our class, and the recruits that we got. I met a lot of them on my visit and I like them all. It's a real great class.

USFN: What team are they most looking forward to playing against in the next 4 years?
DeDe: I'm looking forward to Florida and Florida State the most.

USFN: What do they plan to accomplish while here at USF?
DeDe: I want to accomplish what everybody wants to I guess. I want to play football, start, leave some records, win a championship, get to the NFL draft, and get my education.

USFN: Are you guys spreading the Bulls name around the school?
Griffin: Yes sir. Once everyone found out what school I was going to they started getting on the internet, and finding out everything they could about USF. 

USFN: Are you excited to get to campus?
Griffin: Yes sir I'm very excited. I really can't wait.

USFN: Is there anything you want to say to USF fans?
Griffin: Yeah, tell them to get ready because DeDe Lattimore is coming!

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