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President lays out possibilities, benefits of Lattimore role at USC

South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore (21) celebrates with fans after jumping into them following the Gamecocks 35-7 win over Georgia at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC.
South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore (21) celebrates with fans after jumping into them following the Gamecocks 35-7 win over Georgia at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC. gmelendez@thestate.com

USC President Harris Pastides, a former dean of USC’s public health school, said he looks forward to Marcus Lattimore finishing his public health degree and possibly going to graduate school.

Lattimore on Wednesday announced his retirement from the NFL.

Pastides said he could see Lattimore working at the school while completing his degree, though the pair have not spoken since the running back announced his retirement from the 49ers.

Lattimore could help the Gamecocks athletics department with its new program that guarantees four-year scholarships and, when approved by the NCAA, offers the full cost of attendance to some athletes, Pastides said.

“He has had a chance to see college football from afar,” Pastides said. “He could give us that perspective.”

Lattimore also could serve as an ambassador for USC or work with the school’s community outreach programs to aid young people, Pastides said.

Lattimore has the skills for a successful career at the university or elsewhere in the professional world, USC’s president said.

“He has a big heart,” Pastides said. “Whatever he takes on, he will work hard at it. And he does it the right way. He won’t cut corners.

“He has a quiet charisma that makes others want to follow him.”

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