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Friday, April 19, 2013
Lattimore is better than the next big thing

By Brad Bournival

On a hot summer afternoon during two-a-days last August, Cleveland Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. walked over to anyone listening and presented them with the next big thing.

Three weeks later as an unheard of junior ready to embark on the season opener against Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward, Marshon Lattimore was once again introduced as the star-in-waiting by assistant coach Tony Overton, who made it a point that every media member talked to him.

Fast forward eight months later and Lattimore isn’t just another Tarblooders star, he’s the top-ranked player in the state of Ohio and an ESPN 150 selection.

Marshon Lattimore
Speedy Marshon Lattimore, the state of Ohio's top-ranked prospect, is looking to play cornerback at the next level.
“I think when you’re in the business as long as I have been, you know the ones that are going to be the next one,” Ginn said. “It’s probably a little overwhelming for him because he’s a little subtle about it.

“It blew up fast. It’s not late for me. It’s late for everyone else. He’s one of the elite guys along with Donte Whitner, Ted Ginn [Jr.] and Troy Smith.”

Putting Lattimore in with a Heisman Trophy winner and two members of last year’s Super Bowl runners-up is big, but Ginn insists Lattimore can handle it.

After all, Lattimore went from an unknown to one of the biggest targets in college football -- he has more than 15 offers, including one from Ohio State.

An athlete who really can play anywhere on the field, Lattimore mostly played wide receiver where he registered over 1,400 all-purpose yards and scored 17 touchdowns. By the way, over 500 of those yards were receiving with 10 scores coming in the passing game.

With 4.40 40-yard dash speed, however, he’s also being looked at as a cornerback. He’s excelled there as well and was named the Best of the Midwest Camp’s MVP at defensive back. In fact, that’s where the 6-foot, 178-pound Lattimore wants to play at the next level.

As for his sudden success, Lattimore is taking things all in stride and looking at the more than 50 Division-I college football players the school has had for motivation.

“I always thought I was that kid, so it’s not a surprise to me,” said Lattimore in a very humble tone. “I always felt I had the confidence to do it. My sophomore year I was playing J.V. and now I’m on varsity with all these offers. It’s insane.

“But I really don’t let it get to me. I don’t follow what people say. I just go out and play football. That’s what I love to do. I just go out there and try to be better than the ones before me like Ted Ginn, Donte Whitner, Troy Smith and all those people. It pushes me a lot. By them being in the NFL, I know I can do it. I just go out there and try to be the best. I act the same as if I don’t have any offers.”

The next step for Lattimore is a summer filled with visits as he becomes better acquainted with his suitors. Don’t expect a decision anytime soon either as the budding talent readies for what should be an incredible senior season.

Ted Ginn Sr. plans on working Lattimore on both sides this season and wants the ball in his standout’s hands as much as possible.

It’s a talent fellow teammate and big Division-I recruit Erick Smith says is untapped at this point.

“His upside is crazy,” Smith said. “He’ll be better than what people think he is. They really haven’t seen him on defense. You’ll be surprised at how good he is.”