Sometimes the great fall down. On Saturday, greatness fell hard.
Probable first-round pick Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina saw his season come to an end with one hit -- and his pro future become uncertain at best.
|Photo by: Richard Shiro|
As trainers tended to him, Lattimore was writhing on the ground in obvious pain. They even held him down so he couldn't see the extent of the gruesome injury.
The field was deathly silent for several minutes before chants of "Lattimore!" began to ring out from the crowd. In one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship I've ever seen, both teams surrounded him on the field, either standing silently or offering words of encouragement.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Lattimore has experienced a season-ending injury.
Around this time last year, he tore the ACL in his left leg against Mississippi State. He was out over 6 months for surgery and rehabilitation.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier didn't give full details of this most recent injury, but said it was similar to the last one and that Lattimore was out indefinitely.
While it remains to be seen if Lattimore's professional football aspirations have been dashed, it is evident that he has a strong support system to help him get through this.
Following the 38-35 win, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw said they "really played for Marcus," and the team chaplain even delivered the game ball to Lattimore in the hospital.
Numerous celebrities, including Abby Wambach and Robert Griffin III, tweeted their support. Rarely has there been such an outpouring of compassion to a fallen player. Hopefully, all the love and support will give Marcus the strength he needs to achieve a full comeback.
All of us at The Bleacher Briefings offer our best wishes and hope for a speedy recovery.