KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Many Vol fans are familiar with Herman Lathers' career at Tennessee. When he was healthy he was a key part of a defense that looked to him for leadership both on and off the field.
It's his childhood that most don't know about. When Lathers was a boy growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana he awoke on the floor of his family's home unable to stand or walk, the diagnosis - bone cancer.
For five years he endured a series of painful injections that robbed him of a normal childhood, it wasn't until age fifteen that Lathers was able to take to the turf of Scotlandville High and begin to pursue his football career.
Fast forward to Tennessee where Lathers leaned his faith and new found friend and mentor Dan Carlson to get him through a collegiate career where he sustained multiple injuries and led a young team through three head coaching changes.
Through it all Herman learned to overcome adversity in a way that few his age are capable of. He credits his faith, family and childhood experience for his positive attitude.
Now Lathers is focusing his consistent work ethic and always positive attitude on his next goal, playing in the NFL.