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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — In 2013, Desmond King, a true freshman cornerback from East English Village (Michigan), saw action for the University of Iowa football team and everyone knows how that turned out.
Three seasons later, Cedrick Lattimore, a defensive tackle from East English Village, made his debut for the Hawkeyes.
Although King and Lattimore have been teammates in high school and college, they don’t agree on everything. There are some inconsistencies when it comes to Police Athletic League (PAL) football results from their adolescent years.
“We grew up together playing against each other,” Lattimore said. “I played for the Northwest Cougars and he played for the Westside Cubs. We were rivals, but I never lost to the Cubs.”
King’s recollection of those PAL results was different. He said Lattimore was too young to play against him at the time.
Final results and neighborhood rivalries aside, there is one thing they can agree on: King, the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award winner, was one reason Lattimore is now a Hawkeye.
“It felt like a family here with the coaching staff when they recruited me,” Lattimore said. “I committed my junior year and Desmond had a lot to do with it. He talked to me a lot and said this is the place for you and this was the place for me. I agree with him.”
UI freshman defensive end Chauncey Golston is also an alumnus of East English Village.
A native of Redford, Michigan, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Lattimore is one of 10 true freshmen to see action for the Hawkeyes this season. He played in games against Miami (Ohio), Iowa State, and Purdue — all Hawkeye victories.
Iowa enters Saturday’s game at Penn State with a record of 5-3 overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten Conference.
“Cedrick is a tremendous young man,” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “He has come in and worked hard and showed a lot of promise in camp. He has good size and a tremendous attitude. That is a hard position to break into, but he has done a pretty good job and got to play a lot against Purdue, which is good. It was good for his advancement. We have high hopes for Cedrick.”
Lattimore saw extensive playing time during the 49-35 win against the Boilermakers on Oct. 15. He continues to learn in practice from upperclassmen defensive tackles like seniors Jaleel Johnson and Faith Ekakitie, and junior Nathan Bazata.
“I’m learning in film and taking a lot of notes,” Lattimore said. “I am also getting feedback from the older guys.”
Ferentz calls the defensive and offensive lines the toughest areas for young players to contribute. Lattimore’s transition to facing bigger, faster competition was rough, but he persevered with a day-to-day attitude.
“When I got thrown into the two-deep, I had to step up my game,” Lattimore said.
Lattimore is pursuing a degree in sports management and would like to become a scout or coach. Right now he is focusing on becoming a better football player and a better student. And he has one goal for the final four regular-season games:
“Winning,” Lattimore said.
The Hawkeyes play Penn State on Saturday at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. The Nittany Lions (6-2, 4-1) are ranked No. 12 in the College Football Playoff Rankings.