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2012 Clemson football signees

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(Clemson’s press release on its 2012 recruiting class.)

Martin Aiken
DE • 6-3 • 245 • Fr. • HS
Bamberg, SC
Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School
Ranked as the #24 defensive end in the nation by Scout.com, where he is a four-star player…#25 defensive end in the nation and #2 overall player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, also a four-star player by that service…#43 defensive end in the nation by ESPN.com, which lists him as a three-star player…#10 player in South Carolina and #23 defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.com…#11 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 73 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a senior…recorded 106 tackles, 36 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a junior…comes to Clemson from same school that sent Da’Quan Bowers and Rick Sapp to Clemson, they are both current in the NFL…Coached by Kevin Crosby at Bamberg-Ehrhardt…recruited to Clemson by Marion Hobby…born Oct. 17, 1993.

Isaiah Battle
OT • 6-7 • 285 • Fr. • HS
Brooklyn, NY
Blue Ridge (VA) School
Rated as the #5 prep school prospect in the nation by Rivals.com out of Fork Union Military Academy…#36 offensive lineman in the nation and #11 player in Virginia by Rivals.com at Blue Ridge School…#59 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com…two-time, first-team all-state selection…had 67 tackles and seven sacks as a senior…had 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a junior…first-team All-Virginia Independent Conference as a senior…all-conference as an offensive and defensive lineman…attended Blue Ridge School to play basketball…coached by John Shuman at Fork Union Military Academy and Del Smith at Blue Ridge School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012 and will go through spring practice…recruited by Danny Pearman…born Feb. 10, 1993.

Travis Blanks
DB • 6-1 • 195 • Fr. • HS
Tallahassee, FL
North Florida Christian School
Rated as the #15 overall player and the #2 safety in the nation by ESPN.com…Clemson’s top incoming player according to ESPN.com…#25 overall player and #2 defensive back in the nation by Tom Lemming…#60 player and #4 defensive back in the nation by Rivals.com…#13 safety in the nation by Scout.com…#12 safety in the nation by 247Sports.com…#1 player in the Orlando area by Orlando Sentinel…played in the U.S. Army All-American game…his North Florida Christian School team won the state title his freshman and senior year…third-team All-American by ESPN.com…honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated as a senior despite missing five games due to injury…earned all-state honors as a junior and senior…named FACA 1A Player of the Year as a junior…named First Team All-Big Bend as a junior and senior…had 104 tackles, four interceptions, 35 receptions, and eight touchdowns as a junior…comes to Clemson from the same area as recent Clemson All-American DeAndre McDaniel (2007-10)…coached by Robert Craft at North Florida Christian School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012, he will go through spring practice…recruited by Jeff Scott…born Dec. 3, 1993.

Zac Brooks
RB • 6-2 • 180 • Fr. • HS
Jonesboro, AR
Jonesboro Senior High School
Rated as the #129 player in the nation by Tom Lemming…#15 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com…#35 wide receiver in the nation and #3 player in Arkansas by ESPN.com…#15 running back in the nation and top player in state of Arkansas by Rivals.com…#3 player in Arkansas and #22 athlete in the nation by 247Sports.com…#42 wide receiver in nation by Scout.com…ranked as #1 overall player in Arkansas by SuperPrep…played at Jonesboro Senior High School, where he was a running back and wide receiver…had an injury-plagued senior season, but still had 650 rushing yards and nine touchdowns along with five receiving touchdowns…had 28 receptions as a senior…had 1,358 yards on 180 carries and 15 touchdowns along with 33 receptions for 211 yards as a junior…had 38 receptions for 769 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore…first Tiger signee from the state of Arkansas since 1976 (Steve Carr); Carr did not play in a game, therefore if Brooks plays in a game, he would become the first Tiger from Arkansas on record to play in a game for the Tigers…coached by Jim DeVazier at Jonesboro Senior High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012, he will go through spring practice…recruited by Chad Morris…born Feb. 1, 1993.

Josh Brown
DT • 6-5 • 288 • Fr. • HS
Aiken, SC
South Aiken High School
Ranked as the #76 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com… #19 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…#38 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#26 player in South Carolina according to 247Sports.com…rated as a three-star prospect by all four services…ranked as the #28 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named SCFCA 4A Lower State Lineman of the Year, and Region 5 4A Defensive MVP…named to the ESPN RISE Channel 6 All-Area team…a member of the Aiken Standard All-Area team and the Augusta Chronicle All-Area team…played in the North-South High School All-Star Game in Myrtle Beach…recorded 90 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a senior…coached by Jeremy West at South Aiken High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born May 26, 1993.

T.J. Burrell
LB • 5-11 • 205 • Fr. • HS
Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek High School
Ranked as the #57 outside linebacker in the nation and #20 overall player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#58 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com…#26 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com #21 in South Carolina by 247Sports.com…listed as a three-star prospect by all three services…#18 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the Shrine Bowl for the South Carolina team and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 105 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior…Coached by former Clemson assistant coach Chuck Reedy at Goose Creek High School…recruited by Tony Elliott…born Jan. 26, 1994.

Patrick DeStefano
OL • 6-4 • 275 • Fr. • HS
Spartanburg, SC
Dorman High School
Rated as the #115 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com…ranked as #13 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com as well…#19 offensive guard in the nation by Scout.com…played in the Shrine Bowl…played in the Under Armour All-America game along with classmate Jay Guillermo…#18 overall player in South Carolina according to 247Sports.com…South Carolina Coaches Association Lineman-of-the-Year at Dorman High School…Big 16 Upper State Lineman-of-the-Year…first-team all-area each of the last two years from an academic standpoint…graded 82 percent as a senior by his coaches…his father played at Duke and lettered in 1976 and 1977… high school teammate of current Clemson wide receivers Adam Humphries and Charone Peake…coached by Dave Gutshall at Dorman High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012…recruited by Jeff Scott….born Nov. 26, 1993.

Kevin Dodd
DL • 6-5 • 280 • Fr. • HS
Taylors, SC
Riverside High School
Spent the 2011 season at Hargrave Military Academy…had an outstanding career in two sports at Riverside High School…#14 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…#27 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the North-South High School All-Star game in Myrtle Beach; he had five tackles, two sacks, a caused fumble, and recovered fumble in that game…all-region and all-county selection…had 78 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three caused fumbles, one recovered fumble, and four pass breakups as a senior…outstanding track athlete; he joined that team in the spring of 2010…county champion in the shot put, runner-up in the discus, and named Greenville County Field Athlete-of-the-Year…region champion in the shot and discus and was a state qualifier in the shot put…Riverside High School Field Athlete-of-the-Year and was voted as a team captain as a senior…set school records in the shot (49’ 1”) and discus (128’ 6.5”)…coached by Steve Eoute in football and Eric Cummings in track at Riverside High School…recruited by Jeff Scott and Dan Brooks…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012….born July 14, 1992.

Ronald Geohaghan
DB • 6-0 • 185 • Fr. • HS
Fairfax, SC
Allendale-Fairfax High School
Ranked as the #10 safety in the nation and the #3 overall player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, which lists him as a four-star prospect…#23 safety in the country by Scout.com, which also rates him as a four-star prospect…#21 safety in the country and #10 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com, which list him as a three-star prospect…ranked as 13th best player in South Carolina and #30 safety in the nation by 247Sports.com…played in the Shrine Bowl and the Offense- Defense All-American game…coached by Eddie Ford at Allendale-Fairfax High School…comes to Clemson from the same school that sent Clemson all-time leading rusher Raymond Priester…recruited by Marion Hobby…born Aug. 9, 1994.

Jay Guillermo
C • 6-2 • 287 • Fr. • HS
Maryville, TN
Maryville High School
Rated as the #89 player in the nation, #1 center in the nation, and #1 player in Tennessee by ESPN.com…first-team All-American by ESPN.com, MaxPreps.com, and Sports Illustrated…#13 center in the nation by Rivals.com…#15 player in state of Tennessee and #9 center in the nation by 247Sports.com…helped Maryville High School to the state title each of the last two seasons…Mr. Football Lineman-of-the-Year in Tennessee…played in the Under Armour All- America game with Clemson classmates Patrick DeStefano and Chad Kelly…County player-of- the-year…led his team to a 15-0 record as a senior, as his team was ranked #11 in the nation by MaxPreps.com….played in East/West Tennessee All-Star Game…first commitment to Clemson’s 2012 class…coached by George Quarles at Maryville High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012…recruited by Dan Brooks…born Aug. 26, 1994.

Germone Hopper
WR • 6-0 • 170 • Fr. • HS
Charlotte, NC
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
As a consensus four-star prospect, he is ranked as #11 wide receiver in the country and #75 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com…#13 wide receiver in the nation and #81 overall player in the country by ESPN.com…#20 wide receiver prospect in the nation by Scout.com…#4 prospect in North Carolina by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com…#6 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…ranked as #113 overall player, #6 player in North Carolina and #15 wide receiver by 247Sports.com…played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Shrine Bowl…rushed for over 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his four years in high school…returned five kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns as a senior…finished his high school career as school’s career leader in rushing yards, punt and kickoff return yardage…coached by Andrew Howard at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology…recruited by Danny Pearman…born Oct. 22, 1993.

Oliver Jones
OL • 6-6 • 320 • Fr. • HS
Ninety Six, SC
Ninety Six High School
Rated as the #14 offensive guard/center in the nation by MaxPreps.com…#58 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com…#65 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com…#66 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com…top-15 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…top-20 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…ranked #21 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…ranked as #22 player in South Carolina by 247Sports.com…named SCFCA 1A Upper State Lineman of the Year…an SCFCA First-Team All-State player…played in the Shrine Bowl…from the same school that produced former Clemson All-ACC running back Ronald Williams (1990-92)…he will now be a teammate with Williams’ son, who is now a sophomore defensive lineman on the Clemson team…coached by Chris Liner at Ninety Six High School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born Sept. 26, 1993.

Chad Kelly
QB • 6-3 • 209 • Fr. • HS
Buffalo, NY
Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute
Ranked as #1 overall player in the state of New York and #4 quarterback in the country by ESPN.com, where he is listed as a four-star prospect…that site also lists him as the 84th best overall player in the nation…#4 dual-threat quarterback in the country and #2 player in New York by Rivals.com, which also rated him as a four-star player…247Sports.com ranks him as fourth best dual quarterback and 101st best overall player in the nation…named SuperPrep All-American…played in the Under Armour All-American Game…threw for 3,050 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 991 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior…threw for 2159 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1059 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior…led his team to the state championship game as a junior and senior, winning the state title as a junior…a four- time National Punt, Pass & Kick winner, and the current record holder…played at Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute…recruited by Chad Morris…born March 26, 1994.

Shaq Lawson
DE • 6-3 • 240 • Fr. • HS
Central, SC
D.W. Daniel High School
Ranked as #18 defensive end in the nation and #3 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com, listed by that service as a four-star recruit…#19 defensive end in nation and #5 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, which also him as a four-star prospect…ranked as fifth best overall player in South Carolina and 24th best defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.com…rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com…played in the North-South High School All-Star game and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 99 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, nine sacks and forced five fumbles as a senior…recorded 100 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior…coached by Randy Robinson at D.W. Daniel High School…recruited by Chad Morris and Marion Hobby…born June 17, 1994.

Jay Jay McCullough
TE • 6-5 • 232 • Fr. • HS
Fort Mill, SC
Nation Ford High School
Ranked as #45 athlete in the country by ESPN.com…a consensus three-star prospect, he is a top-20 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com and Rivals.com…ranked as 16th best player in South Carolina and 59th best athlete by 247Sports.com…#26 tight end in the nation by Scout.com…played in the Shrine Bowl and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 37 receptions for 493 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 112 yards as a senior…coached by Michael Allen at Nation Ford High School…recruited by Jeff Scott…born Jan. 18, 1994.

Bradley Pinion
P • 6-5 • 220 • Fr. • HS
Concord, NC
Northwest Cabarrus High School
Ranked as the top punter in the nation by 247Sports.com…rated as the #3 kicker in the nation by ESPN.com…#4 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com…#6 kicker in the nation by Scout.com…averaged 46.1 yards per punt as a senior at Northwest Cabarrus High School…first- team All-American by ESPN.com…played in the U.S. Army All-American game and the Shrine Bowl…second-team All-American by USA Today, the first Clemson kicker signee to earn USA Today All-America honors since Chris Gardocki in 1988…averaged 40 yards per punt and had 17 punts inside the 20 as a junior…had 37 touchbacks in 50 kickoffs as a junior…helped his high school team to the state playoffs…also played soccer (goal tender) and basketball in high school…coached by Rich Williams at Northwest Cabarrus High School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012…recruited by Danny Pearman….born June 1, 1994.

D.J. Reader
OG • 6-3 • 306 • Fr. • HS
Greensboro, NC
Grimsley High School
Ranked as the #19 offensive guard in nation and #20 player in North Carolina…#20 offensive guard in the nation by Scout.com…#58 offensive guard in nation and #27 player in North Carolina by ESPN.com…#41 defensive lineman in the country and #8 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…named SuperPrep All-American…recorded 50 tackles, seven tackles for loss and five sacks from the defensive tackle position as a senior…plans to play both football and baseball at the collegiate level…batted .435 as junior on the diamond…coached by Damon Coiro at Grimsley High School…recruited by Robbie Caldwell…born July 1, 1994.

Cordrea Tankersley
DB • 6-1 • 190 • Fr. • HS
Aiken, SC
Silver Bluff High School
Ranked as the #37 wide receiver in the country by Scout.com, a four-star player by that service…#39 safety in the country by Rivals.com, lists him as a three-star player…#6 player in South Carolina and 25th best athlete by 247Sports.com…#41 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com, lists him as a three-star player…top-10 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#3 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named to ESPN RISE Channel 6 All-Area team…a member of the Augusta Chronicle All-Area team…played in the Shrine Bowl…selected for the Offense/ Defense All-American game in Dallas, TX…on the defensive side of the ball, he recorded 40 tackles as a senior…on offense, rushed for 650 yards and five touchdowns and threw for 708 yards and six touchdowns…coached by Al Lown at Silver Bluff High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born July 1, 1994.

Carlos Watkins
DT • 6-4 • 275 • Fr. • HS
Forest City, NC
Chase High School
Clemson’s top signee in this class according to 247Sports.com, he is ranked as 55th best overall player in the nation…also ranked as fourth best player in North Carolina and seventh best defensive lineman…ranked as #8 defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and Scout.com, list him as a four-star player…#12 defensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com, a four-star player by that service…#5 player in North Carolina by both ESPN.com and Rivals.com…#104 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com and #134 overall player in the country by ESPN.com…#13 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…recorded 15 sacks, an interception and forced five fumbles as a senior…recorded 50 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 14 sacks as a junior…played in the U.S. Army All-American game and the Shrine Bowl…coached by Daniel Bailey at Chase High School…attends same high school that sent the McSwain brothers (Rod and Chuck) to Clemson in the early 1980s, they were both on Clemson’s National Championship team of 1981…Chuck is current track coach at Chase High School…recruited by Dan Brooks….born Dec. 5, 1993.

Marty Williams
DB • 6-1 • 200 • Fr. • HS
North Augusta, SC
Fox Creek High School
Ranked as ninth best player in South Carolina and a 24th best safety in the nation by 247Sports.com… #31 safety in the country by Scout.com…#42 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com…#47 athlete in the country by Rivals.com…top-10 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…a three-star prospect by all three services…#13 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named All-Region High School Sports Report Offensive Player of the Year for Class A as a sophomore, junior and senior…named WJBF/ESPN RISE Athlete of the Year as a junior and senior…a first-team all-area selection by the Augusta Chronicle as a junior and senior…named Aiken Standard Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior…selected to play in the Shrine Bowl but was not able to play due to injury…accounted for 3,000 yards of total offense and 36 touchdowns as a senior…coached by Russ Schneider at Fox Creek High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born Aug. 21, 1993.

Brady Hoke addresses how defensive goals have changed in college football

New Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke meets with members of the media at the Hatfield-Dowling Complex near Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Hoke is a former head coach at Michigan. (Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via AP)
Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via AP
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Brady Hoke is looking forward to getting back in coaching this season as Oregon’s defensive coordinator. A year away from the game from the coaching point of view after being let go by Michigan, Hoke is taking on a big task with revamping Oregon’s defense. With the offenses Hoke will see in the Pac-12, he knows the defensive goals that have been regular staples for decades in the past will no longer be what he believes to be a realistic goal.

It used to be the goal was 13 points or less. That was the standard everybody had,” Hoke said this week as he met with the Oregon media for the first time since being hired. “The style of offenses have changed. You can also see defenses evolving for the style of offense. If you’re going to play Stanford, your team goals for that week may be a little different, defensively, because of the style of offense.

“When you’re going to play Arizona, your points per possession become more important than holding [Stanford running back and Heisman Trophy finalist] Christian McCaffrey under 100 yards rushing. You have to be realistic for your players.”

It seems as though Hoke is prepared to give in on a few defensive goals he has lived by for years in hopes of achieving a larger vision with Oregon’s defense. Considering how much Oregon’s defense needs to improve. The Ducks ranked 117th in total defense in 2015. The lowlight of the season had to be the Alamo Bowl meltdown that saw a 31-point lead against TCU end up with a loss to the Horned Frogs. The question is what will be the goal for the Oregon defense in 2016, and how realistic will it be?

“If you set unrealistic goals — we want challenging goals, but unrealistic goals, that’s not fair to those kids,” Hoke said.

Helmet sticker to CoachingSearch.com.

Colorado promotes Darian Hagan to RB coach, shuffles offensive coaching duties

Handlers lead Ralphie, the mascot of Colorado, around the field before Colorado hosts Southern California in an NCAA football game in Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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One of key members of Colorado’s 1990 national championship team is moving up on the coaching staff in Boulder. Darian Hagan, who played quarterback for the Buffs in 1990 and won three Big Eight titles when conferences actually had numbers reflective of the number of teams in their conference, has been promoted to the role of running backs coach. The school announced Hagan’s promotion among a couple of accompanying coaching staff changes on Saturday. Hagan had been serving as a director of player development.

For Hagan, this will be the second time he has held a role as an assistant coach on the Colorado sideline. He was an offensive assistant in 2005 under Gary Barnett and he was a holdover when Dan Hawkins was named head coach in 2006. Hagan moved to the role of director of player development in 2011 under Jon Embree and he continued in that role under  head coach Mike MacIntyre.

“Darian brings a lot of pride and passion to our football program with his history here, and also brings expertise to our running backs,” MacIntyre said. “In shifting our offensive staff assignments a little bit, he will give us another dimension in our running game and working with our running backs.

As Hagan gets moved into the coaching staff, MacIntyre adjusting the coaching responsibilities on the offensive side of the staff to make room. Klayton Adams, who was coaching the running backs and tight ends, will now coach the offensive line. Gary Bernardi will take on the coaching duties with the tight ends and fullbacks after coaching the offensive line last season.

 

Bowling Green WR Gehrig Dieter transferring to Alabama

Bowling Green wide receiver Gehrig Dieter makes a reception for a touchdown against Georgia Southern during the first half of the GoDaddy Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Mobile, Ala. (Mike Kittrell/AL.com via AP)
Mike Kittrell/AL.com via AP
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Alabama will be adding a 1,000-yard wide receiver by way of a graduate transfer from the MAC. Gehrig Dieter will transfer from Bowling Green to Alabama in 2016, and he will be available to play right away. Dieter announced the news of his transfer to Alabama on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon.

Dieter is scheduled to graduate from Bowling Green in May, which means he will be a graduate transfer. This makes him eligible to play right away next fall at any other FBS program with a spot available. That FBS program just so happens to be the defending national champions. With freshman Calvin Ridley breaking out for the Crimson Tide in 2015 en route to a national championship, it looks as though Alabama will have quite a 1-2 punch at the wide receiver position. However, there could be a minor snag preventing Dieter from playing this season. Because this will be Dieter’s third four-year football program, he will need a waiver approved by the NCAA in order to be cleared to play this season. Dieter previously played at SMU before heading to Bowling Green.

Dieter was Bowling Green’s second-leading receiver in 015 with 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns. Together with Roger Lewis (1,544 yards, 16 touchdowns), and quarterback Matt Johnson (4,946 yards, 46 touchdowns), Bowling Green had a dynamic offense that now faces a bit of an uphill battle heading into the spring. With Dieter transferring and Johnson graduating to the NFL and head coach Dino Babers taking a job at Syracuse, Bowling Green could be set to take a step back next fall.

Johnny Lattner, Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer, dies at 83

GPHR 45/1638:  Football player John Lattner, posed action diving in uniform inside the Stadium for Football Guide, May 1952.
Notre Dame Athletics
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The Notre Dame football family lost a legend today. Johnny Lattner, winner of the 1953 Heisman Trophy, passed away at the age of 83 after battling lung cancer.

In addition to winning the Heisman Trophy in 1953, becoming Notre Dame’s fourth in program history, Lattner also received the Maxwell award in both the 1952 and 1953 seasons. He was also named a consensus All-American in 1952 and 1953. The Chicago native played halfback for the Fighting Irish under Frank Leahy from 1950 through 1953. The “bread and butter ball carrier” went on to be a first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a knee injury suffered during a two-year stint in the United States Air Force cut his pro career short. Lattner went on to dabble in some coaching at the high school level as well as at the University of Denver. He remained the head coach at Denver until the school shut down the football program in 1961.

Lattner was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.