Watching the hit that took out South Carolina’s star running back Marcus Lattimore was certainly the lowlight of my weekend. Lattimore suffered a dislocated knee and severe ligament damage and will require surgery, but Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier believes he’ll be back, whether it’s with his program or in the NFL.
And that isn’t the only topic Spurrier opened up about in this interview. He also discusses the state of the SEC and why he believes Alabama would be favored to beat multiple NFL teams.
Steve Spurrier joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss Marcus Lattimore’s injury, the SEC’s dominance in the rankings, the state of the SEC, why he believes Alabama would be favored to beat multiple NFL teams and what it’s like to recruit against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
How are the spirits down there your way?:
“We’re doing OK. Marcus [Lattimore] obviously suffered a serious injury, and we’re all hoping and praying he’ll be back. We don’t know how long this type of recovery will take. … If anybody can get back, Marcus Lattimore can.”
Do you hope he comes back and plays for you or will he maybe go to the NFL?:
“That’ll have to be Marcus’ decision, obviously. Certainly, he’s got two more years in which to play one here at South Carolina. Of course, the first thing is to start getting that knee well and so forth. He’s obviously got some surgery coming up, and a lot of rehab. But, this whole modern-day medicine, as we know, can do miracles. Willis McGahee had, they said, a similar injury and he’s played what, eight or nine years in the NFL. So there’s been people who have come back from this.”
The Tennessee players came out and saluted him as he was carted off. How do you hold your emotions back?:
“You just have to keep on keeping on, and go on. That’s all you can do. Yeah, it was an emotional moment for all of us, because obviously Marcus, he’s such a well-loved guy. He’s our only junior that was voted captain. … The opponents, with him there’s no trash-talking. He never trash talks and the opponents never trash-talk him.”
Five of the top eight teams in the BCS are from the SEC. What do you think about that?:
“Yeah, I don’t know if we’re that good to be No. 8 right now, but that’s where they’ve got us. Obviously we did lose to good teams at their places — Florida and LSU. But we didn’t play very well last week against Tennessee, but somehow or another, we did manage to hold on to beat them 38-35. We’ve got some work to do if we’re going to finish the season on a strong note, but hopefully we can do it.”
Alabama stands out, but who do you think is the second-best team?:
“Oh, I don’t know who’d be second-best right now. Obviously the LSU-Alabama game will be very important this week. And LSU’s pretty good down at their place on Saturday night, as we all know. But Alabama, gosh, they look like they could beat a couple of those NFL teams that I’ve watched on Sunday.”
Do you really believe that?:
“I think a lot of the oddsmakers out there that usually know about what’s going on, I’d guess Alabama would probably be favored a little bit, wouldn’t you? Against some of those teams, I’m just guessing.”
More on Alabama, which is ranked No. 1 despite losing quite a bit in the offseason:
“Nick has got a nice little gig going down there. I compare it a little bit to what John Calipari’s got going at Kentucky, except Calipari, he only gets the best players one year, and Nick gets all the best players for three years down there. It’s a pretty good gig he’s got going. They play three years and go to the NFL and make a lot of money.”
How do you recruit against him?:
“Well, we have a chance in-state, here, when we can tell our kids they can stay in-state and play for championships and so forth and still go to the NFL, because we’ve got a track record of doing that. … Now, we could never go into Alabama or Georgia and probably ever beat a guy that Alabama wants.”
Listen to Steve Spurrier on The Dan Patrick Show here (Interview begins at 15:00)