Normally I try to include all three teams (Clemson, Carolina and the Citadel) in each post about football, but the South Carolina Gamecocks have really just stolen the limelight in the past week or so, and not for anything fantastic. First there was the dismissal of QB Stephen Garcia, which, while not unexpected, still was a shock to the Gamecock nation. And this past Saturday a young man by the name of Marcus Lattimore suffered a season ending knee injury.
I have written about Marcus before and am a huge fan of his, not only for his insane talent but also for his character and attitude. Humble, hard-working, honest, and a true role model in every sense of the word, Marcus has put the Gamecock football team on his shoulders on more than one occasion yet spends his free time bowling and witnessing to youth at local churches. Being a Heisman candidate hasn’t seemed to affect him one bit – just doing his job and being the best he can be are his top priorities and the fact that he is a household name across the country appears to have not fazed him in the least.
There is no denying Marcus’ influence on the outcome of South Carolina football games, but if there ever was a time to rally for and around someone, this is it. Marcus himself would tell you that it takes a team to win and a team to lose, so I encourage the Gamecock nation to keep the faith and not throw their hands up in defeat. To write this team off would be a mistake. The Carolina baseball team has written the playbook on overcoming adversity and in the words of star pitcher Michael Roth, “We battle. We’re a bunch of average Joes who love each other and come out and battle.”
The battle is not over and all is not lost. Marcus Lattimore will be back next year and ready to regain his status as running back extraordinaire. In the meantime, true freshman Brandon Wilds will have to step into some pretty big shoes. But victory is sweetest when it seems impossible and I suspect that Wilds will be highly motivated to show what he can do in Marcus’ absence. I’ll leave you with this: