Gamecocks' Lattimore going pro, sources say

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COLUMBIA — Injured South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, said people familiar with the decision.

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore continues to recover from a knee injury.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore continues to recover from a knee injury.

One person said Monday that Latti­more is expected to announce his decision this week. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statement.

The running back suffered a horrific injury to his right knee against Tennessee on Oct. 27. Doctors say Lattimore had successful surgery to repair several ligaments Nov. 2. It is unclear when he’ll be able to return to the field.

Lattimore injured his left knee in 2011 as a sophomore. He rushed for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, both team highs. He is South Carolina’s career leader in overall touchdowns with 41 and rushing scores with 38.

Lattimore did not immediately answer a text message or phone call from The AP.

Lattimore was South Caro­lina’s primary offensive force the past three seasons, starting from the time he arrived as a freshman in 2010.

He missed the final six games of 2011 after tearing a knee ligament at Mississippi State. He had surgery on the left knee and plunged himself into rehab, returning for summer workouts with his teammates in early June.

Lattimore showed few effects from the injury this season. He had three games with at least 100 yards rushing and appeared on the way to a fourth against the Vols when he was hurt again.

Two days later, South Caro­lina held a rally on campus to celebrate Lattimore’s 21st birthday and wish him well in his recovery. Coach Steve Spurrier told the crowd that he had gotten a message from Lattimore to tell them, “I’ll be back.”

On Nov. 10 against Ar­kan­sas, the school unveiled Lattimore’s name and touchdown record on one of the stadium’s spiral ramps. Lattimore showed up in a taped message to fans
on the stadium’s video board, saying he felt fine and was “working to get back to football.”

Lattimore might not have made the field this season anyway, with Spurrier saying doctors told him that rehabilitation might have taken about a year. Lattimore had a redshirt year available and could have played for the Gamecocks in 2014.

Lattimore rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns in 13 games as a freshman. He helped the Gamecocks win the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division and play in the league title game, where they fell to Auburn 56-17.

Lattimore would end his South Carolina sixth in rushing with 2,677 yards and 11 games with 100 yards or more. He also had 74 catches for 767 yards and three touchdowns in his career.

BY THE NUMBERS

A look at junior running back Marcus Lattimore’s numbers at South Carolina. He is the school’s all-time leader in rushing scores and overall touchdowns:

RUSHING

YEARCARRIESYARDSTDS
20102491,19717
201116381810
201214366211
Totals5552,67738

RECEIVING

YEARCATCHESYARDSTDS
2010294122
2011191821
201226170
Totals746163

Source: gamecocksonline.com

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Riverman1
79082
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Riverman1 12/10/12 - 06:57 pm
3
0
If it's possible he wouldn't

If it's possible he wouldn't make the field in 2013 for Carolina, the whole thing is puzzling. In any case, I am sincerely sorry for the injuries Marcus sufferred.

Just My Opinion
5258
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Just My Opinion 12/10/12 - 08:34 pm
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Oh, I think Lattimore

Oh, I think Lattimore would've been able to play next season for Carolina. I don't think that's the issue. I think he sees, and has been counseled, that he needs to make the jump to the pros NOW...well, when he's physically able. He just can't afford to risk another season playing for Carolina....or college football. He MIGHT be lucky enough to play next season, based on his recovery. But who's to say he wouldn't get injured again...and this time with a career ending injury? No, he's doing the right thing by leaving.

kiwiinamerica
924
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kiwiinamerica 12/10/12 - 08:54 pm
0
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Worth a try, I guess....
Unpublished

But with the injury Lattimore suffered, NFL front offices are going to be very, very wary about throwing mega-millions at this guy. I sure wouldn't. He's damaged goods. The NFL is a zoo and far tougher than college. All it takes is one whack and he's a goner.

Look at RGIII. Three quarters of the way through his rookie season and already one concussion and one bad leg injury.

I fear for Lattimore if he hits it up between the tackles in the NFL. I think he's just flying a kite here.

etlinks
19047
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etlinks 12/11/12 - 08:52 am
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Hate to see him go but good

Hate to see him go but good for him.

justthefacts
20243
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justthefacts 12/11/12 - 09:00 am
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Draft

Seems another year to prove his durability would have improved his draft position. But, I suppose he is getting sound advice from someone who knows the deal. Maybe he last long enough in the draft for the Falcons to get him. Turner is done.

Riverman1
79082
Points
Riverman1 12/11/12 - 09:20 am
0
1
I don't blame him, but even

I don't blame him, but even if he is drafted, he won't play next year due to rehabbing his knee. He's a long shot draft pick. Good luck, Marcus. You were a sweet freshman slicing through the SEC.

KSL
120855
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KSL 12/11/12 - 12:28 pm
1
1
He has had the surgery.

Rehab is up to him. He can do it and come out stronger and better. It really doesn't take the whole year.

Second son suffered the same injury as a jv quarterback. He got high/lowed. Did his rehab with a vengeance. Initially was told he would not play basketball or baseball that year. Wrong.

rmwhitley
5526
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rmwhitley 12/11/12 - 06:57 pm
0
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Mr. Lattimore
Unpublished

is a class act. Best of luck in the nfl and Godspeed in your rehab and recovery.

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