If you happened to be watching last season’s South Carolina/Tennessee football game, you knew just as soon as Marcus Lattimore was hit that his season was likely finished. That’s because a Vol defensive back’s helmet crashed into the running back’s knee, knocking it in the wrong direction, leaving Lattimore sprawled out on the turf in pain. (For the few who claim it was a dirty hit, it wasn’t. DBs are taught to go low because there’s no way a corner can take down an SEC-sized running back mano y mano.)
What happened after the injury has earned the football teams at South Carolina and Tennessee the SEC’s 2012-13 award for sportsmanship.
With doctors tending to Lattimore, Gamecock players gathered around their fallen star. Then, one by one, Volunteer players circled around Lattimore, too. With both squads mingling together around Lattimore, the stadium cheered the injured back and the gesture of sportsmanship.
It was a wonderful moment caused a terrible incident.
Kudos to both squads and the fans on hand at Williams-Brice Stadium for reacting to the gruesome injury as they did. And now here’s hoping Lattimore overcomes that injury to have a long and successful career in the NFL.
(The University of Tennessee-produced video below removes the actual hit for the sake of the squeamish, but the reaction from all involved is shown.)