Marcus Lattimore, star running back at the University of South Carolina, is known for his moves on the field. And nearly three years ago, Lattimore pulled out a trick play of his own on signing day at Silver Hill Memorial United Methodist Church in Spartanburg.
He shuffled around an Auburn University and a University of South Carolina cap on a table, then picked up the South Carolina cap and committed to the Gamecocks.
"Not only is Marcus a good athlete, excellent athlete, but he's a gentleman," the Rev. Edward McDowell said.
He is the senior pastor of the church and one of Lattimore's mentors.
"I've seen this young Byrnes High School superstar turn into a man," McDowell said.
So, when the all-star running back injured his right knee during a football game against the University of Tennessee, McDowell began to pray.
"Every member of our church and every member of this community wants Marcus to get better," McDowell said.
He said because Lattimore is so humble, he isn't surprised by Lattimore's recent message to his fans.
"Hey Gamecock Country, I just want to take a minute to say thank you so much for all the notes and the cards," Lattimore said in a videotape.
Since his injury, hundreds gathered for a get well parade and a special halftime salute to Lattimore. He returned the love in a recent videotape that played during halftime in the game between Arkansas and South Carolina this past weekend.
"I appreciate all of your support. I'm feeling fine, and I'm working to get back on the football field again," Lattimore said.
McDowell said because Lattimore is grounded in faith and family off the football field, he'll always be a winner.
"He has the ability to reach beyond football and touch the lives and hearts of people," McDowell said.
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