Year: RS Sophomore
Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA
A year ago, in limited playing time, Darious Latimore had 14 tackles (12 solo) and 4 passes defended. He also had 2 INTs and a forced fumble. Though he’s only noted as having started twice, he’s listed in the starting lineup for the Hoos final 3 games of the year (the Hoos started 3 CBs in those games).
Latimore is a tall CB, though not a particularly big one at just 170 pounds. Coming out of HS, he was listed at just 161 pounds, which is very thin for an FBS player. His playing weight last year was 165, so at least he’s trending in the right direction. Despite his lack of size he plays strong, as evidenced by all those solo tackles. He doesn’t lack for confidence when coming in to make a tackle. And he doesn’t just come up and make a tackle. He’ll make a big hit, like a safety. The Hoos do not have a need at safety, but Latimore could potentially slide over and play safety in a pinch.
Latimore’s 6-foot frame and long arms give him great length for the position. See this interception last year against Miami’s Brad Kaaya. A shorter CB may not be able to reach this ball, and the long arms helped him corral the INT.
Here is Latimore’s Hudl page, with senior season highlights. The highlight reel shows a kid who makes good reads, and then has the speed to make the play. See him chase down a RB from 20 yards behind to make a downfield tackle. Then, watch him read a quick flare to the RB and come up to make a tackle for no gain. Finally, see him come in after a teammate’s INT to make a big downfield block. Again, despite his lack of size, he’s a very physical player.
Entering this year, Latimore is one of just 2 Hoos on the roster with any playing time at CB. Therefore, he’s almost a lock to start opposite senior Tim Harris. It’s a nice luxury for the Hoos to have an upper-classman and under-classman at the position. It allows for flow from year to year and gives the coaching staff a chance to plan out the defense for the next few seasons. Next year, Latimore will be the veteran, with potentially several youngsters looking up to him for guidance.