Marcus Lattimore, a former star running back for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team, is set to appear in an upcoming Christian film in a role he was born to play: himself.
Or, that is, a character closely based on Lattimore’s own story. The promising young football player was beloved by fans throughout his successful career at South Carolina and, after graduation, he was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers. However, two separate knee injuries sidelined him within his first year on the roster. He retired from football at the age of just 23.
Lattimore now spends his time coaching and running youth camps in addition to his work with the Marcus Lattimore Foundation, a youth development program in his home state that aims to “provide a core curriculum consisting of nutrition, wellness, safety, skill and faith for our youth athletes in the great state of South Carolina… [and] use our platform and gifts for the sole purpose of bringing people to Christ.”
The forthcoming film, entitled Faith’s Song and produced by Northface Christian Films, features Lattimore as an injured football player-turned-pastor, who helps a young girl, Faith, overcome hardship after her parents are killed in a car crash.
“Marcus has such a great testimony of someone overcoming all the disappointments that he’s had with his knee injuries,” said director Frank Hutto. Though it was Lattimore’s first time acting, Hutto said he performed well. “Marcus is a natural when it comes to talking to people. Once he avoids the camera and doesn’t think about the cameras being there, Marcus is pretty natural in everything he does.”
For his part, Lattimore enjoyed the experience. “The whole staff, the whole crew, they’ve been amazing helping groom me up a little bit in my acting process,” he said in an interview with WACH-Fox. “I’ve been so blessed to be a part of that, and I get to play myself, my story. That’s cool.”
Though it’s a tough time for film industry, when one in five young Americans are in debt, making them less eager to spend money on movie tickets, Lattimore and Hutto are optimistic about the film’s release, which is set for release in the fall.
“When you go through adversity, will you stand on God’s word?” Lattimore said. “I feel like that’s the message that we’re trying to get across.”