COLUMBIA, S.C. — If you missed getting to see Marcus Lattimore during Saturdays kids football camp at A.C. Flora Highs practice fields, not to worry. Youll have a number of chances to see the former USC running backs 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.
Were following five guys Lattimore, former Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel, ex-LSU defensive back Tyrann Matthieu, Floridas Sharif Floyd and Michigans Denard Robinson as they make the transition from college to the NFL, said NFL Films associate producer Tim Rumpff. Well 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.
Hes a great story, the six-year NFL Films veteran said. The injuries hes overcome, plus hes just a great person. I didnt know much about Marcus before, but theres not a better guy in terms of personality and character. Hes definitely impressive.
Saturdays filming focused on Lattimores 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 hes seen the Hey Rookie series in years past, and its awesome. Im 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. Its something my kids can watch someday, he said. Itll be good memories.
Marcus Lattimore commemorative issue
Go to thestate.com/lattimore; it also is available at three Jewelry Warehouse locations or at The State Newspaper at 1401 Shop Road.