Report: Lattimore to make leap of faith to NFL Draft

The gruesome injury that ended South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore’s season could be the beloved star’s final play in a Gamecocks uniform.

Citing an unnamed source, an ESPN.com report said Lattimore will enter the NFL draft in April. An official announcement is expected this later week.

Lattimore suffered a dislocated right knee and extensive damage to the ACL and LCL ligaments in an October game against Tennessee, marking the second straight year his season ended prematurely with a knee injury. Last season he tore the ACL in his left knee in a game against Mississippi State.

Lattimore began rehab shortly after his surgery and is no longer on crutches. However, according to the report, Lattimore believes his quickest path to recovery is by performing his rehabilitation with NFL team doctors.

The extent of the injury would likely keep Lattimore off the field for the upcoming NFL season, but he hopes to be able to perform limited activities for NFL scouts, such as light jogging and catching passes, in the spring combine season.

According to the report, Lattimore has spoken with other NFL running backs who came back from knee injuries, such as Willis McGahee and Frank Gore. He contends that entering the NFL draft early will help prolong his career, although he still has the right to withdraw his name and return to college as long as he does not hire an agent.

Lattimore has rushed for 2,677 yards with 38 touchdowns in three seasons with the Gamecocks, including 662 yards and 11 touchdowns this year. He has been honored by fans from across the state for his contributions, including a recent Marcus Lattimore Day.

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