Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lattimore and Jeffery ready for new year

In the 2011 pre-season, South Carolina boasts two of the top offensive players in sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore and junior wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Both players made the coaches’ All-SEC first team.
             “What we like about Alshon and Marcus is that you can brag on them, and it doesn’t affect them at all,” said head coach Steve Spurrier.
            Lattimore, whose name has already been mentioned in the Heisman race, said he embraces that opportunity.
            “I have a good shot to win it, I think,” he said. “I’ve got a great offensive line.”
            Spurrier also has confidence in his running back’s abilities.
            “All summer, I have said Marcus Lattimore is the best running back in the country,” he said.
            Coming in as a freshman, Lattimore said the biggest thing for him to work on was pass protection.
            “It was so fast. It was hard to react to it,” he said. “All the blitzes Nick Saban throws at you, it’s crazy. But I think it slows down after three or four games.”
            Jeffery said his personal goal for this year is to try for the SEC Championship again.
            “I felt great about our season, but we left a lot of things on the field,” he said. “Hopefully this year we’ll learn from our mistakes.”
            Spurrier said Jeffrey has worked a lot on his size since he got to South Carolina.
            “When he got to South Carolina, he was 245, now he’s thinned down to 230,” Spurrier said. “He’s a lot faster than he’s ever been.”
            Jeffrey said he and Lattimore get along well off the field and that Lattimore is a great teammate.
            “I don’t compete over touches,” Jeffery said. “If I ever had to choose, I’d choose Marcus to touch the ball.”

--Laura Owens