"The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” — Jim Rohn

Since 2010, Marcus Lattimore has made a permanent residence outside of USC, it has been in our hearts. I remember watching the Georgia game in 2010 and realizing that we were all in for something far more special and meaningful than anything we had seen in a very long time, for some of us, it would be a first to experience someone having such an impact as this.

Marcus put up ridiculous numbers but they were no match for his incredible character and what he would begin to do. He reshaped and redefined this program and gave EVERY GAMECOCK a reason to believe, not just in winning but in the affectionate and undeniable power of the human soul and the influence it can have over so much and so many.

Marcus, I could write about you for days and no emotion that passes through me could compare to the LOVE and admiration I have for you. WE all love you. There is no greater joy than to have sat back and watch you grow through your injury, both physically accepting your flaws and emotionally knowing it was tough on you, on us all. Spiritually, we never had to doubt that and neither did you.

We know how much you love the Lord, which in turn infects your heart and pushes and pushes you to be the best in EVERYTHING you do. Not just in football.I have enclosed messages from the FANS, who will always be a part of your backbone as you are ours!

Bruce N Renee Adkins I missed watching ML glide through defenses, at times the defenders seem to be standing still watching greatness flow down the field! I miss the wheel routes ML could take to the house at any giving moment! Marcus is a great football player! But he is an even better person! In this age of "me" Marcus is a team player a great leader on and off the field! He will be missed when his time is over at USC.

Doug Henry Its in his eyes the Power The Passion and The Player Marcus Lattimore is a True GAMECOCK!!!

Ashley Keren Willis Marcus Lattimore embodies what the South Carolina Gamecocks are all about! BEAST MODE! WIN ANYWAY! He was watching film, going to team functions, and traveling with the team, even when he couldn't play! Encouraging the other team members, helping the other RB's. Lattimore is a huge asset to this team. On AND OFF the field!

Chuck Barnett I love how you can feel the game change when he is on the field. The offense comes to life and the defense starts second guess everything because they don't know just how the HBC is going to use this powerful weapon to burn them. It is such an intense shift that you can even feel it sitting at home watching the game on TV!

Mandy Bethea Waite To any fan it probably means the world. His moves, grace and just his presence on the field makes us a better team. I hated to see the team play without him but we proved we could no matter what. His loyalty to the team wanting to be there for practice and games to show support was so unreal and showed just how unselfish of a young man he is. Proud to have him back and can't wait to see him in action Thursday!

Nathan Layne I might tear up when he hits pay dirt.. Hard work pays off an his last year has been rough.. You can't hold a winner down.. He's the heartbeat of our offense.. Definitely one my favorite Gamecocks of All Time.. He's an example to our younger guys on an off the field..

It's okay to cry...I know I will when he comes back on the field.

God Bless ALL The Gamecocks! Big THX to Heather Barton for sharing a great conversation with me about Marcus that ultimately inspired this piece. To ALL the fans who gave so much in reference to Marcus, Thank You.

P.S. Vanderbilt, Marcus is as REAL as it comes. Ya better strap em on tight!