A healthy Marcus Lattimore might have been the top running back in this year’s draft.
But while the South Carolina running back’s not healthy, he’s at least one of the most supported among this year’s rookie class.
In a detailed look at his comeback from back-to-back season-ending knee injuries, Lattimore told USA Today’s Robert Klemko he’s been overwhelmed by the calls offering encouragement from NFL players who have gone through similar rehabs.
Former college teammate Chris Culliver arranged a phone call from 49ers running back Frank Gore. Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady, who shares an agent with Lattimore, had teammate Willis McGahee give him a call.
Lattimore said he’s gotten around 15 calls from NFL players who have gone through similar injuries.
“That’s something that I’ll cherish,” Lattimore said.
Lattimore’s also working out alongside Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III at the facility of Dr. James Andrews, the knee doctor to the stars. Andrews said Lattimore’s work ethic compared to former patient Adrian Peterson, who had a nice comeback of his own last year.
“He’s twice as far along as we ever expected him to be. He’s so self motivated,” Andrews said. “This weight he’s put on has been all muscle, which is absolutely impossible in most cases. It remains to be seen if he can play this season.
“We’ve had to slow him down in certain activities because he’d get ahead of us. He’s one of the finest young men I’ve ever had the opportunity to help take care of.”
But Lattimore’s injury history makes him different from Peterson, and one of the more interesting players to watch in this year’s draft.