Bad ankle injury can't stop UT's Herman Lathers

UT linebackers Herman Lathers, left, and A.J. Johnson line up for a drill before the start of a scrimmage at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2012

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL UT linebackers Herman Lathers, left, and A.J. Johnson line up for a drill before the start of a scrimmage at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

Herman  Lathers

Herman Lathers

KNOXVILLE — Given everything else he's faced, Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers had reasons to doubt the pain in his left ankle ever would subside.

At 15, he overcame bone cancer after taking shots every day for five years.

In 2009, a blood condition forced him to have spleen-removal surgery.

And one year ago today, he fractured that ankle so severely that it required the insertion of 11 screws, forced him to miss all of the 2011 season and made him doubt he'd ever get back to his old self on the field.

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Comments » 21

VolGrad writes:

Keep pushing yourself and those other linebackers, Herman. We need a strong leader back there who walks the walk as well as he talks the talk. I wish you the absolute best and pray you'll exceed your own expectations once again- this time out there on the football field.

Herman should make a great mentor for AJ and/or Curt who are definitely future team leaders on defense in the linebacker corp.

jack4444 writes:

If anybody deserves a healthy year, it's Lathers.

TheVolSnake writes:

If there is one man that deserves a breakout season it is Herman, I want to see him in the NFL. He is a remarkable young man and true leader.

He is one of those persons that you hear nothing but good things about and has over come so much to play the sport he loves.

usafvol writes:

If these LB's stay healthy, they're gonna hurt some people..

luvmatersoup writes:

This guy has earned more respect from me and others off the field than on. I wish him nothing but success and with EVERYTHING he has been through, wouldn't be surprised to see him have a kick tail year and....on TV the years after playing on Sundays! GoVols!

GerryOP writes:

A true Vol, thanks Herman Leathers. I hope you have a great senior year. You've earned it.

91 and counting...

buzz29 writes:

Best of luck to you Herman! Keep up the good work!

Snapshot writes:

I hope your hard work pays off for you Herman. The Vols will need your leadership on D this year.
Good luck young man. Go Vols!

blackoutcuffem1592 writes:

Herman the Inspiration

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Herman is one of our players that I'm looking forward to seeing play the most this fall. It's easy for us all to get pumped about Bray, Hunter, Rogers, CP, etc, but Lathers brings a whole other dimension to our defense and I'm psyched about seeing him back on the field.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

always one of my favorites on this defense..Was sorely missed last year!!

VolGrad writes:

Can hardly wait to see this linebacker group in action. Hope to see Lathers directing traffic out there for a full season and then some.

Go Big Orange! Beat the Pack!!!

OwensboroVol writes:

We really need about 50 more of this kid. If He never plays another down because of injuries, he would still be valuable beyond words for the Vols. I'm proud of him having that degree and being a fellow Alumnus.

bvol1inSC writes:

Refreshing article compared to the normal KNS phooey.

OrangePsyched writes:

With H,Johnson,Maggitt and either King or Smith this should definitely be SEC caliber linebacking corp. Our defense will attack this year instead of the bend but don't break defense of Wilcox. Sunseri is about smashmouth.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

This kid's an inspiration on so many levels. Players like him only come along once in a while, and it's a pleasure to watch him play.

MtJ_Orange writes:

Anyone remember that over the shoulder one handed int. he grabbed in the endzone? Can't wait to see him back at full speed!

RashaadSalabeb writes:

You can't keep a good man down! Get out there Herman and become the next Patrick Willis!

Go Vols!

VolGrad writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That was last season. Check your chronometer. Or, maybe your crystal ball is just "hour-glassing."

Go Vols! Beat the Pack!!!

Bubba_Knows writes:

We need this guy to stay healthy. He's the kind of linebacker we need on the Hill.

UsoCRAZY writes:

Man, I knew this guy was tough but that is some hardcore adversity for anyone to overcome. I hope it all pays off and life gets alittle easier for you or atleast rewarding, actually I hope it already is.

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