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Varsity - 2006 Season
Posted Tuesday, September 09, 2008 by Dede Lattimore

On the eve of Cedar Shoals' season opener against Oconee County, DeDe Lattimore refused to suppress his excitement.

After sticking paw print decals and an orange line on his blue helmet on Thursday, the junior beamed with anticipation when asked about today's trip to Watkinsville to face the Warriors.

"It feels real good," Lattimore said. "I know everybody's ready to play, so as soon as I put that first sticker on that's what everybody said, 'We're ready.' ... I can't wait to put (the helmet) back on."

Opposing teams may not be so excited to see Lattimore between the hash marks.

Dede lattimore SuperStar************

The 6-foot-2, 208-pounder starts at middle linebacker and plays running back.

"He's a force to be reckoned with as a running back, but as a linebacker, good gosh, he's impressive," coach Scott Wilkins said. "He has the speed to play from sideline to sideline and he has the size and the physical ability to plug the middle. We're talking about a big kid that can go all over the place."

Lattimore earned a starting spot at middle linebacker as a freshman. Wilkins said Lattimore's ability to play in the middle at a young age speaks of his athleticism and football instincts.

"It's something, obviously, he has and that's he's improved upon by being pretty relentless in the weight room and on the track," Wilkins said "He also plays basketball and he runs track.

"He's a very explosive runner and he's a man-child in the middle playing basketball. He's a heck of a paint player. He goes after loose balls and plays defense. He's a real banger."

In his first year as a running back last season, Lattimore said he ran for about "five or six touchdowns."

His lack of an obsession for statistics bodes well on a team stockpiled at the position.

Seven Jaguars ran for 285 yards or more last season, and six of them are back this season, including Lattimore's friend TaBrian Resby.

"When DeDe gets on the field he's in his own zone," Resby said. "It's just him out there. He just sees him and the ball, him and ball. He plays so quick and so fearless. He's probably one of the most unselfish players on the whole team.

"Coach doesn't have to talk about being selfish. You just know not to be selfish. Everybody gets the ball, people call for breathers and get their rest."

Unselfish and humble, Lattimore enters his third season with the same mentality he had in his first.

"I feel fearless," Lattimore said. "I feel like I'm not going to let anybody come get my spot. I can't let anybody come over here and take my spot."


Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 083107

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