Lattimore in spotlight through NFL Films series

bgillespie@thestate.comJuly 13, 2013 

— If you missed getting to see Marcus Lattimore during Saturday’s kids football camp at A.C. Flora High’s practice fields, not to worry. You’ll have a number of chances to see the former USC running back’s visit – and more – this fall.

As Lattimore and former Clemson quarterback Woody Dantzler ran running and receiving drills for youngsters who barely came up to their chests, a four-man crew from NFL Films recorded the action for “Hey Rookie, Welcome to the NFL,” an hour-long feature scheduled to air multiple times on ESPN and the NFL Network. The debut is Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

“We’re following five guys” – Lattimore, former Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel, ex-LSU defensive back Tyrann Matthieu, Florida’s Sharif Floyd and Michigan’s Denard Robinson – “as they make the transition from college to the NFL,” said NFL Films associate producer Tim Rumpff. “We’ll follow each of them at (preseason) camp and up until Week One” of the NFL season.

On Friday, the crew accompanied Lattimore to Williams-Brice Stadium and recorded him “reflecting on his time here, the adversity he had to overcome,” Rumpff said. Lattimore, still rehabilitating from his second major knee injury while at USC, was a fourth-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers.

Rumpff and his crew began following Lattimore during NFL Draft weekend, and also were there during his rehab sessions in Pensacola, Fla., in February. The “Hey Rookie” series is “not about the top five picks, but guys who had things to overcome,” Rumpff said.

“He’s a great story,” the six-year NFL Films veteran said. “The injuries he’s overcome, plus he’s just a great person. I didn’t know much about Marcus before, but there’s not a better guy in terms of personality and character. He’s definitely impressive.”

Saturday’s filming focused on Lattimore’s work with youngsters, and afterward when he and Dantzler talked about their college experiences and answered questions from several hundred campers, parents and grandparents.

Lattimore said he’s seen the “Hey Rookie” series in years past, “and it’s awesome. I’m glad they chose me. People love a good story and love to see (players) succeed. I want to show dedication, never giving up.”

He laughed. “It’s something my kids can watch someday,” he said. “It’ll be good memories.”


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