Marshon Lattimore has the honor of being the best player in the Buckeye State this year, according to the 247sports composite. As you might expect, that title comes with certain benefits, and as a result, the 6'0, 185 pound cornerback has drawn the attention of schools all over the country.
Marquee programs like Alabama, USC, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oregon are among Lattimore's 19 reported offers, and it's not hard to see why -- Lattimore, who attends Cleveland's Glenville High School, is widely considered to be one of the nation's top players regardless of position. ESPN places Lattimore 50th in their ESPN300, and Rivals considers him to be around the same range as the 56th best player in the 2014 class. 247sports has Lattimore a bit higher at 33rd overall.
It is interesting to note, though, that there is some disagreement over where Lattimore will play in college. Some see him as a cornerback, and other scouting services simply list him as an athlete. His talent, though, needs no labels.
Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst: Lattimore is a recruit with a good height, and a long slender frame. Listed currently at 6'1" 185; it will be interesting to see exactly how much good weight he's able to pack unto his frame. Venturing a guess he should be able to work his way close towards the 195-200 pound range.
Lattimore is a recruit who sees extensive time on both sides of the ball for his high school team. However, it's the cornerback position for which most projected him as having the most upside and highest eventual ceiling.
On offense, at receiver Lattimore is explosive and a big play threat. A two-stepper who gets up to top speed quickly, he uses this trait to win vertically. He also shows the ability to take short passes and create big plays; most times, getting the ball on a quick slant or hitch, then running away from defenders in the open field.
A dangerous runner after the catch, Lattimore displays impressive lower body and core strength. This is demonstrated in his ability to maintain his balance through contact and re-accelerate.
From a route running perspective; he's raw, but flashes impressive short area burst as he is able to consistently win at the break point and create separation.
Playing cornerback, Lattimore is often seen on tape playing a mix of pressman and offman coverage on tape. His short area burst flashes in his ability to defend hard breaking routes. His suddenness allows him to get in back in position to drive on routes even in instances in which he may give up initial separation.
At some point, I would like to see him use more physicality in coverage as he doesn't get his hands on receivers as often as you would like.
From a ball skills standpoint, Lattimore's experience of receiver shines. He can run with receivers downfield but does a great job turning back and locating the football. An explosive leaper, he shoots his hands away from his frame and plucks the ball at its highest point. Overall, His baseline skill set allows to him to stay with receivers through their routes. His playmaking instincts are what separate him from most elite athletes making him such a coveted recruit.
Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: There is a lot to like about Lattimore. While he is not polished as a cornerback, he definitely showcases the skills, both in his offensive and defensive highlights, that a premier cornerback typically has.
First, Lattimore has excellent size for the position. And with that size, he shows the athleticism to play the position. That is important. There are plenty of 6'0 athletes, but few who can play cornerback at the BCS level. Lattimore has good agility, and though he might not be the quickest player, he does have good catch-up speed, which will be useful when playing trail technique at the next level. He has the body to be physical with receivers, and should add good weight and be even better there.
Lattimore could also see snaps on offense. He makes a lot of plays with the ball in his hands and can definitely make defenders miss. He could also be a dynamite returner in college.