After a difficult start to his college football career, cornerback Marshon Lattimore is stronger, faster and more confident than ever as he prepares for the upcoming draft.
There were a lot of question marks for cornerback Marshon Lattimore coming out of his freshman redshirt year in 2015. After missing his first season at Ohio State due to hamstring surgery, Lattimore only managed to play in seven games in 2015 because of lingering issues.
Lattimore bounced back just in time for the 2016 sophomore where he was an immediate impact player as one of the Buckeyes' starting cornerbacks.
"Just doing something different, it's not luck at all," Lattimore said at the NFL Combine. "I did yoga, I did extra strengthening exercise, I did stretching, all that. It's no luck."
Lattimore's work paid off as he exploded on the field, finishing his first full season with 41 tackles and nine passes defensed. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after leading Ohio State in passes defended (13) and finishing second in interceptions (four).
After an outstanding season, Lattimore decided to forgo his remaining two years of eligibility and began preparation for the 2017 NFL draft.
"I got the confidence that I'm one of the best, but I had to get healthy enough to show that I'm one of the best and that's what I did this year," Lattimore said. "It's just a blessing, being in the position I'm today because I didn't even know if I was going to be healthy enough to play or not, so just a blessing to be here."
While the six-foot 193-pound cornerback is undoubtedly a talented athlete, concerns remain over his experience and hamstring.
Lattimore is not one of those people, though.
"I'm 100 percent fine right now." said Lattimore, who clocked in an impressive 4.36-second 40-yard dash time while in Indianapolis. "I'm confident in what I do and I know what I'm doing. They always talk about I only have one year of experience, so I had to make sure I know what I'm doing, tell them specific things about our schemes and things like that. On the field, just show that I'm fluid in what I do."
Lattimore has proven he has the size, speed and strength as well as mental capacity to compete at the next level. He is projected as a first-round pick as well potentially being the first cornerback to hear his name called.
"It's a deep draft and I'm honored to be considered one of the top cornerbacks in the draft. Just coming from where I came from it's a blessing," Lattimore said. "I feel like I did the work to be one of the top players in the draft, but I'm just excited. It's more excitement than surprise. Just going out there and being physical, very versatile, playing with great passion. That's what helped me be good this year, be great this year."