Dabo Swinney has always thought, and spoken, highly of University of South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore - an in-state product that the Clemson coach did all the could to recruit for the Tigers' backfield.
That was the case again Sunday when Swinney was asked about the horrific knee injury the Gamecocks' junior suffered against Tennessee on Saturday.
“Just absolutely took my breath away," Swinney said. "It just breaks my heart. I just hurt for him and his family and his teammates. He represents all the things college football should be about.
"I know him personally. He's a class, class young man. Always has been. So is his family. It's devastating because I know how hard he's worked.
"If there's anybody I'd bet on it would be Marcus Lattimore," Swinney added "I know it's going to be a long process, but I'd put my money on Marcus in a heartbeat. I know when he can come to terms with this, he'll do everything he can to get himself healthy and well. He's a class individual and a great player.
"My prayers go out to him and his family. I've had a heavy heart for him ever since that happened. There are a lot of great things for Marcus Lattimore, as Coach (Steve) Spurrier said. We haven't seen the last of him from a football standpoint, hopefully. He's been a great representative of the game and his university. I just lift him up in my prayers."
Monday evening, during a celebration of well-wishing for Lattimore in Columbia, Spurrier used the occasion to fire the latest volley in a series of verbal shots between the two coaches.
"A lot of quotes came across from the nation and I read one today from the head coach at our upstate school," Spurrier told the crowd. "You know, that school that used to beat us a lot that doesn't beat us much any more, that one.
"Usually when that coach up there talks about South Carolina it's a bunch of garbage and a bunch of BS usually. But I have to agree with him on what he said the other day."
Swinney was asked about Spurrier's comments on his weekly call-in radio show, and responded by saying:
"I don't really have a comment other than I'm embarrassed for him," Swinney said. "That would be about the only thing I have to say about that."
Harmless banter or inappropriate to the situation?
What do you think?