Colleges ‘drooling’ over Jefferson's Latimer

Jefferson High School senior has scholarship offers for football and basketball.

He grew up in Dayton and attended Colonel White as a freshman, then went to classes at the new Thurgood Marshall High School for two weeks before his mother found a house in Jefferson Twp. He was not enthusiastic.

“I kept trying to find ways to stay at Thurgood,” Latimer said. “I didn’t know if I could do anything here. I didn’t really know anything about Jefferson, so I’m thinking, ‘How do I get noticed there?’ ”

It hasn’t been a problem. In his third year as a Broncos athlete, Latimer has both helped the basketball team to a Division IV state championship last season and become one of the school’s most notable football players in years.

Latimer is at the beginning of a senior football season that, with strong performances, could help him gain Bowl Championship Series conference interest. With significant size and speed, Latimer has already earned nine football scholarship offers — including several Mid-American Conference schools and Indiana — after playing just one previous varsity season, as a junior.

“He’s got ’em drooling,” said Jefferson coach Daniel Parks. “He’s running 4.43, hands like glue, strong as an ox, 6-3, 210, big wide receiver. It’s unlimited for him.”

But Latimer also has basketball offers to consider from Morehead State and Western Carolina. Those were helped along by his summer AAU performances with his Driveway Legends team. A highlight tape from one tournament posted on YouTube got him more attention and at least one of his football offers, from Texas State.

To help his senior season, which started with a 21-12 loss to Clark Montessori of Cincinnati, Latimer convinced basketball teammate Deontae Roberson to play quarterback. At 6-4 with a strong arm, Roberson can get deep passes to Latimer for more ability-showcasing catches.

That combo should be on display Friday against visiting Ponitz Tech, a matchup the Broncos won in a shootout last year, 52-47.

“Even if it’s a bad ball,” Roberson said, “he can get it.”

And with more impressive catches, Latimer could possibly gain the attention of schools like Michigan State, where former Jefferson basketball teammate Adreian Payne will be a freshman this fall.

“I was leaning more toward basketball at first ...” Latimer said. “But I love the contact.”

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