Towering Lineman JC Latham Has Top Two, Decision Date Set
John Garcia, Jr.
IMG Academy two-way lineman JC Latham is hard to miss at 6-foot-7, 300 pounds as a high school junior, and most top college football programs haven't. The class of 2021 prospect has amassed more than two dozen scholarship offers and knows when that list will be trimmed to just one.
"I think I'm coming towards the end," he told SI All-American. "I plan on committing April 18, it's my little younger sister's birthday."
Several programs still have a shot for one of the biggest talents in the Sunshine State, by way of Wisconsin and his native Mississippi, but a pair of College Football Playoff programs lead the way.
"LSU and Ohio State are definitely my top two schools," Latham said. "Before I make a final decision I want to go to LSU. I really want to get to LSU and build a relationship with them. Same with Ohio State to see where that goes.
"I'm taking an official to LSU in the springtime but I may go sooner for a junior day. I'll be there for their spring game for the official."
With the bulk of his pre-college years spent in the Midwest, Ohio State may be the program he's most familiar with.
"I love them," he said. "They make me feel at home when I'm back there. I love the atmosphere, being around the coaches and the players for the Buckeyes."
Latham is just as curious about the SEC program ahead of what is likely to be two trips to Baton Rouge. He says there is a difference between the options in what surrounds each spot.
"Level of competition," he said. "At LSU, I'd be tested a lot more. I like competition. I feel like it makes you a lot better. Because of the competition, there's a chance for a better recruiting class and better chance at a national title."
The top two programs on Latham's list aren't the only two he is considering over the next three months before that commitment is made.
"I want to go visit Oklahoma and I'll probably visit Florida and Florida State," he said. "I'm trying to plan Oklahoma at the end of the month or the beginning of next month. I'm going to try to visit Florida State before I commit. I'm looking to build relationships and see their atmosphere."
Georgia Tech represents the latest program to offer Latham. It came earlier in the week.
"It's a great program," he said. "Really good academic program and it's a football program on the rise."
The offer from the Yellow Jackets came on the offensive line, where Latham isn't as experienced compared to defense. But as has been discussed in the recruiting industry, his ceiling is higher at offensive tackle.
Latham has embraced it.
"I plan on playing left tackle throughout college," he said. "I'm trying to be a true freshman starter. On defense, it was a little awkward before my coach brought me to O-line. I played here and there (in Wisconsin) but told my coach I'd work hard.
"He's done a really great coaching job and I've really stuck to it with Coach (George) Hegamin. He's one of the best coaches out there."