Football

Teammates Not Surprised to See Marshon Lattimore Near Top of the Draft

Marshon Lattimore Ohio State Football Buckeyes

If you’ve listened to the radio, or watched the television, or read the internet lately, you’ve probably seen Marshon Lattimore’s name near the top of a lot of draft boards.

Based on his injury-riddled career at Ohio State, that might seem like a surprise to you, but to his teammates who have seen what he can do ever since he came to Columbus — and in some cases even earlier than that — nothing that happens tonight will be a surprise.

Lattimore is projected to go as high as the first five picks in tonight’s NFL Draft. It will be the culmination of a process that began well before Lattimore got to Ohio State.

“Growing up, when we were eight-years old there were not a lot of guys who could do what he could do,” linebacker teammate Chris Worley said.

Worley and Lattimore grew up in Cleveland together and both attended Glenville High School, which has sent its share of players to Ohio State. Lattimore may be the best one yet.

“He honestly could go into an NFL locker room and play running back, receiver, corner, safety, punt return, kick return, he could do whatever he wants with his ability and mind set and how tough he is,” Worley said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that. They just see the finished product, but they don’t see what he’s really capable of doing.”

In his time at Glenville, Lattimore displayed a number of special skills, but when he got to Ohio State he was limited by what he could do due to lingering hamstring injuries his first two seasons. As a redshirt sophomore this past season, however, he stayed healthy and showed everyone the potential he had inside of him.

How is he so good?

“I guess you could say he’s from Cleveland,” smiled teammate Jerome Baker, himself a native Clevelander. “Right there gives you some good football. You can tell right there.”

Aside from just his geographical upbringing, Baker also saw Lattimore never stop fighting to get back to 100%. When that kind of work ethic and drive combine with the natural abilities that Lattimore possesses, it’s going to take a lot to stop him.

When Baker thinks back to his time playing alongside Lattimore, there are only good memories.

“To look over and see Marshon, there was complete confidence that he was going to lock whoever that is down,” he said. “He’s just showing that the hamstrings, all of the injuries he’s had, they’re gone. He can do it all, it’s just the injuries held him back a little bit. I’m so excited to see him in the NFL, it’s great. He was a great athlete. He was way more special. He can jump, he can run, he can do it all, and on the field he showed it last year.”

While this draft is going to be a great thing for Lattimore, it could also be a very good thing for the neighborhood where Worley and Lattimore grew up.

“Honestly, it’s a sign of hope for the whole community,” Worley said. “Even though the Glenville community has had success with athletes, at this point its honestly kind of like a war zone. A lot of guys don’t see that hope anymore. Hopefully with his success, if he goes as high as he’s projected, just to have that type of hope within that community that the next kid like Marshon, or a little girl, they could be whatever they want as long as they put the hard work in. That’s really what it’s about for the community. It’s about the hope.”