So, I just finished mulling over this article by recruiting guru and all around football expert Phil Kornblunt, and it looks like we may have good news on the Marcus Lattimore front. According to a source, Carolina and Auburn are his top two schools right now.
As you probably know, Marcus Lattimore is the guy for Carolina right now. He is our own personal Obi-Wan Kenobi. We aren't really recruiting him, we're begging him to come rescue our football program from mediocrity. (Well, that's my opinion, anyway. Some people aren't so high on him.)
If recruiters Jay Graham and Brad Lawing can reel him in, we'll have had a successful recruiting class, barring absolute catastrophe everywhere else. If we don't get him, the 2010 class will be at least a little disappointing.
It's not hard to figure out why we need a big, strong, stud running back. It's often said that if you have two quarterbacks, you don't really have one. While the same isn't strictly true for running backs (e.g. the Carolina Panthers two-back system), it is true of the Gamecocks RBs. There isn't one single guy here right now who can carry the load for our offense. We have a stable of backs who are solid but inconsistent from game to game.
We need someone who can convert every third and two. We need a guy who can come into a game with 7 minutes left in the 4th and completely kill the clock. We need a threat to break runs for 6 points, not 6 yards. Right now, Carolina needs another Duce Staley. Somebody like a Knowshon Moreno, a Cadiallac Williams, or a Mark Ingram. Spurrier needs another Emmit Smith.
Marcus Lattimore can be that guy. He can pass block. He can break tackles. He can run away from safeties and DBs. He's a fantastic pass catcher- he travels with Byrnes' outstanding 7v7 passing league team and plays receiver for them. He has prototypical size and build for a running back. Carolina needs this guy. He's in state. He's been a Carolina fan for his entire life. If we can't get him, it will be a huge, huge setback. If we can get him, it will be a massive windfall for recruiting and team performance.