Former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore may not get drafted until Saturday, which represents a disappointing drop for a player who was viewed as a first-round prospect until suffering a devastating knee injury. But Saturday also marks six months since that devastating knee injury on October 27, and Lattimore also counts himself as lucky that he has a football future at all.
In a lengthy ESPN the Magazine profile, Lattimore says that when he went down on that fateful fall Saturday, he figured his football career had come to an end.
“At that moment, I really believed I was done,” Lattimore said. “When you look back and see what people were writing and posting on Twitter and Facebook that night, they all thought I was done too.”
Lattimore’s mother, Yolanda Smith, says she thought the same thing, especially considering that it was Lattimore’s second serious knee injury.
“I just knew he was done with football,” she said. “I had seen my baby hurt before. Now I had seen him hurt again. There was a part of me that said, Let this be over. But that has always been up to him. And he’s always done the right thing.”
The team that drafts Lattimore will be getting a football player who’s grateful for the opportunity, and excited just to have the chance to put in all the hard work needed to return to the field.