Latchison's Positive Attitude, Hard Work Paying Off
April 14, 2010
By Jacque Snow
To say Jaymar Latchison is excited for the upcoming 2010 football season would be putting it lightly. He's downright ecstatic. The junior defensive end is out to prove to the country what the Lobos are capable of. Through 13 spring practices, he sees improvement everywhere.
"We can't go anywhere but up," Latchison said.
All of Latchison's efforts are directed toward just that - going up. Getting better. Proving the naysayers wrong. It's in his thoughts every day.
When the rest of the Lobos have called it a day, Latchison is perfecting his craft. In practice, he is paying more attention to detail - all with the focus of trying to be the best at his position in the country.
He said to compete with the top defensive ends in the country, he is paying close attention to their individual films and trying to do more than they are. The extra push-ups and sit-ups in his free time don't hurt either.
"It's actively processing what I have to do to get better," he said. "Even though sometimes I may not want to do it."
His defensive line coach, Rubin Carter, has confidence that Latchison will make a great impact this coming season. Coming into last year, neither coach nor player knew what to expect from each other - especially with the switch from a base 3-3-5 defensive scheme to a 4-3 front. Defensive ends have very different responsibilities in each system - something that can be worrisome for coach and player alike.
Carter said Latchison's explosive quickness is one of a number of assets that separates him from the rest of the defensive line.
"I knew that all the tools were there for him to develop his abilities to be a good football player," Carter said. "It was just a matter of him learning his responsibilities and knowing where he needed to be."
For all of the toughness Latchison can exhibit on the practice field, he claims to be a `momma's boy' at heart.
"My mom is the reason I am where I am today," Latchison said. "She gave me the foundation to do great things and is the number-one influence in my life."
Latchison grew up in Central Islip, a small town in Long Island, N.Y. He's got a different name for his home town - he calls it Strong Island.
As for other sports, Latchison has given basketball a try, but he realized early on that it wasn't for him. "I played my freshman year at Happauge High School," he said. Latchison points to a specific instance as the clear indicator that he belonged in football.
Latchison is keeping a positive attitude about his chances of starting this fall, but doesn't want to jinx his chances by being over-confident. In fact, it's his philosophy to keep a positive attitude in all aspects of life.
"There are so many people looking to be negative," Latchison said. "If I can be the one person that is positive, I'm at least pushing in the right direction."
Carter agrees. He said Latchison's positive attitude and great character will help the team in pressure situations down the road.
"I know exactly what I'll get from Jaymar on Saturdays," Carter said. "His positive attitude spreads to the rest of the team. He's a good influence."
While Latchison lives and breathes football, he's also about supporting other Lobos and their teams. It's not unusual to see him at various Lobo events.
"Giving support back to my friends on other teams is important to me," Latchison said. "They all come to my games - It's just a perk of being a student. I want to do the things that all the other students get to enjoy."