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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 16, 2010

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with John Lattimore

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

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High-impact junior college transfers are not uncommon for East Carolina. You have the likes of Andre Allison, Lance Lewis, and Dominique Davis to draw on for comparison. But it has been awhile since a defensive JUCO came aboard that was so eagerly anticipated. Defensive end John Lattimore is one of those guys who everyone was that excited about when he came into the program in 2011.

An odd accident in his first day or two in spring camp in 2011 delayed his “arrival” on the field a year, but that delay, in hindsight, may be one of this year’s blessings. At 6-4, 277 pounds, Lattimore is sort of a tweener for the 3-4 defensive end position. But the trade-off between his weight and his speed — particularly his acceleration into the backfield once he has engaged the tackle — creates some very interesting opportunities to get a true pass rush out of a DE without losing containment. His JUCO reputation was one of being a massive backfield disruptor.

Lattimore's abilities, along with the emergence of fellow DE Lee Pegues, allowed the Pirates to drop Derrell Johnson and Maurice Falls to the second level, thereby creating more depth and athleticism — particularly pass rushing skills — in the linebacker ranks. Lattimore has yet to play in a game for the Pirates, but play in games he will and the junior is likely to be a notable contributor.

John was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his insights on the upcoming season.

John Lattimore in action
(ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with John Lattimore

Q: Last year’s injury must have really just got under your skin. You were a player that the defense really was counting on coming in and jumping in right away. You missed the season, you are now healthy. How are you feeling heading into the season? Are you hyped up having had to wait so long to get out there?

A: I am very excited for the season and I am ready to see what I can do out there in (a) game. I feel good, I’m 100% healthy.

Q: You came in as a DE with a reputation for getting to the QB. Do you see opportunities to put on the heat in this 3-4 scheme? Talk about how you guys expect to get more pressure on the QB this year.

A: I will have opportunities but the position is about stopping the run game. The transition was a little tough at first, but I got a feel for it and like playing the position much more now. We stop the run, but if there is an opportunity to get to the quarterback, we all can make that play.

Q: Assess the defensive line and what you see out there. Do you guys have a chance to be a special group?

A: Really happy with how we are all doing out here. I do think we have a chance to be a really special, good group. I feel like the whole defense, not just the defensive line could be pretty special.

Q: What player on this team do you most respect and why?

A: Lee Pegues. He is so passionate about the game and is always going 100% at all times. He works hard and it shows. Whenever I have a question about the position, I go to him. I definitely hold a lot respect for Lee.

Q: Do you feel like with the depth being developed at the DE positions, there are enough reps for all of you? Does the rotation help you out there?

A: Really, to me the rotation is good. I run with the ones and the twos and we mix it up, so really, whether you are the starter or not doesn’t matter because we rotate to keep everyone fresh and at the top of their game. It allows you to go full speed, full strength every play you are out there.

Q: You’ve had to sit out for so long since you last played in a real game. Do you think you are going to be able to make it to the Appalachian State game without going crazy?

A: Oh, man, I am excited. I’m also a little nervous. It’s been more than a year since I last played in a game. Excited to get out there and see what I can do, make that first play. I’m really looking forward to the first game.

Q: How is the OL looking from your perspective thus far?

A: They look real good, all of them. They are a strong and I think that they will surprise people.

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Ron Cherubini Archives

08/16/2012 02:00 AM


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