Photo by Curt Hogg

Notre Dame Set To Host Top 2021 DE JC Latham

September 13, 2018

When his time comes, JC Latham‍ promises to be a huge prospect.

In truth, the 2021 Wisconsin defensive end is a huge prospect already in more ways than one.

“As a freshman last year, he was about 6-6, 230,” Catholic Memorial High School assistant coach Matt Bergan said. “Now, he’s just under 6-7 with his shoes off and he is about 272. He’s just 15 years old. He’s one of the youngest kids in our sophomore class.”

Latham will visit Notre Dame for this weekend’s game against Vanderbilt.

The Waukesha, Wisc., native already has offers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Iowa State and Minnesota. His coach says, “He is one of the most intriguing prospects we’ve seen in this area in a long time.”

“He does project very well to college football,” Bergan added. “He could be an offensive tackle down the line just based on size. He’s got really big features. He’s got big wrists, big knees, big hands. He wears size 18 shoes. He projects to either a strongside defensive end in a 4-3 or a right or left tackle on offense.

“He’s extremely explosive. He was on our varsity basketball team as a freshman. He’s a thunderous dunker. He looks like Shaquille O’Neal against high school kids based on him being that much bigger. He can get off the floor. He’s quick. He throws the shot put and the discus for us. The first time he ever did shot put, he threw it over 43 feet and he didn’t even know what he was doing. He’s got a tremendous amount of arm speed and fast-twitch muscles.”

Latham tweaked his ankle in the opener this year and played through it.

“He’s finally back to 100 percent healthy,” said Bergan. “We expect him to dominate on Friday night.”

As impressive as Latham has been on the field, he’s been just as impressive of it, according to his coach.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is the fact that he’s got all A’s and B’s going right now as a sophomore,” said Bergan. “We’re proud of what he’s doing so far this year. We’ve already been in school for a month and he’s doing a great job.

Even without an offer from the Irish, he’s looking forward to visiting South Bend this weekend.

“The number one thing that we preach here is academics,” his coach said. “One of the things that intrigues him a lot about Notre Dame is the academic side of things and the tradition. Obviously, he’s at Catholic Memorial High School, Notre Dame being a Catholic school is very intriguing to him. He’s very intrigued by Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan. He’s done visits to all of them.

“He’s going to focus on the schools that offer him and he’s been intrigued by Notre Dame for a long, long time.”

Bergan has no idea whether the Irish could offer this weekend, but wouldn’t be stunned if they did.

“Honestly, when coaches have met him, it doesn’t take long to offer him,” he said. “His hands, he’s got a great personality. He’s extremely well-liked. He gets along great with all of the kids, all of the coaches. He treats women with respect around school. He’s really good with his teachers. He’s a really nice kid and a kid we’re really excited about moving forward.”

Latham will be joined by his younger brother, Langston, a 2022 outside linebacker prospect.

“He’s another guy who projects extremely well,” said Bergan. “He’s already about 6-2, 200 pounds. He’s on our varsity team. These kids are beasts.

“Lucky for him, everybody knows him because he’s done all of these visits. He’s grown so much. He’s been in the weight room now for the last six months. JC didn’t lift a weight until he was a freshman in high school. These guys have great genetics and now that they’re buying into strength training and academics, it’s really, really good to see.”

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