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Marcus Lattimore

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore runs against Missouri during fourth-quarter action in Columbia on Sept. 22, 2012.

COLUMBIA -- One of South Carolina's most revered former players is returning to the garnet and black.

Former South Carolina All-American running back Marcus Lattimore will start Monday in an off-the-field role.

Lattimore publicly confirmed the news in an interview with Mike Uva of WachFox. Lattimore's role is defined there as director of player personnel, whereas a release from Heathwood Hall says Lattimore will serve as a spiritual adviser/chaplain in the player development department.

“It is a pretty full-circle moment to be able to go back to my university and help them,” Lattimore said in the interview. “I’ve kept in contact with so many people around the university – in particular Coach Muschamp. I’m just really excited about this new endeavor of being director of player development for the football team at the University of South Carolina.”

Lattimore served as an assistant football coach at Heathwood Hall in 2016 and as the team's head coach in 2017.

While Lattimore's role with the Marcus Lattimore Foundation kept him from joining the Carolina staff in a non-coaching role when Muschamp first arrived in Columbia, Lattimore told Uva that he has worked it out with the NCAA and compliance to keep his foundation, though there are limits on his involvement with some of the foundation's programs.

Lattimore's new role falls under the umbrella of Muschamp's "Beyond Football" initiative, which is designed to help current players be better prepared for the off-the-field portions of their time as football players, while also seeking to put them in a position to succeed in their lives after football, something that Lattimore is uniquely qualified to help with. While it's not an on-field coaching job, Lattimore will be around the players often and able to attend practice, so there is value in his knowledge of the game as well.

While Lattimore as an "off the field" staff member will not be allowed to go on the road recruiting, he can and will still be a major part of the on-campus recruiting operation.

Beyond Football is usually a pleaser with prospects and their parents. Just as an example, part of that program is a question-and-answer session during visits that allows parents and prospects (separately) to ask questions of current players and former players without the coaching staff around.

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