Lattimore’s career to begin six months after he thought it ended

AP

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.

48 responses to “Lattimore’s career to begin six months after he thought it ended

  1. He will be a great late round pick-up. This kid has it all. Glad to see him back in the mix.

  2. Now this is the kinda guy i want to root for. After months of free agency and players saying show me the money, this guy just wants to play football. Godspeed Marcus!

  3. I have no idea what kind of pro career this guy will have but by all accounts, he’s had some bad luck and is a high character, high work ethic type of guy. I wish him the best.

  4. Steelers like this kid..so do I in rounds 5-7..that knee scares me..we already have Sean Spence who been out since LAST preseason with no return date..not to mention Miller

  5. I”d love to see this kid have a ton of success. Unless he’s with an AFCN competitor & then I’d want to see him have personal success playing with a lousy QB.

  6. I hope RM takes a shot at this guy!! The Raiders could really use a guy with a heart like his…and we need someone for when Run DMC goes down this year!! Hopefully not but history don’t lie!

  7. Come on niners. Gore 2.0 would be awesome since gore contract is up after this year and hitting 30. Lattimore would get a year with limited reps to get fully healthily and up to speed. We won’t over work him like Carolina did. This kid was a workhorse getting more then 30 touches a game and riding him all game. Spurrier is partly responsible for lattimore injuries.

  8. Just read the SI piece on him.

    His injury is no worse than those suffered by Frank Gore and Willis McGahee and his character is absolutely impeccable. There is no reason to believe he can’t be a very productive NFL running back.

    If he drops past the second round, someone is going to get a heck of a bargain, even if they have to wait a half season or so before he can contribute.

  9. Marcus,
    If you make it or not, you have proved you are a great inspiration to comeback from all this. I am not a USC (as in Carolina) fan, but I am pulling for you.

  10. This kid is going to be the best RB from this class, and it won’t even be close. My only hope is Pittsburgh takes a chance on him in the 3rd round (maybe 2nd if his stock is rising that much), and rents Bradshaw for one season as a stop-gap need. Before the injuries, mainly the last one, Lattimore looked to be the next Adrian Peterson with his incredible vision, cutback ability and quickness. Granted he needs better top-end speed, he does possess the determination to come back from injury like Peterson did. Maybe not as quickly, and he doesn’t have to, but I think he will be better than he’s ever been.

  11. I think he’ll be a good one – if he doesn’t get pushed too fast – we’ll be talkin’ about him for sure…

  12. If Willis McGahee can make it back to play in two pro bowls and have a productive pro career, I believe anything is possible. I wish him well, and hope he gets taken by a team with the luxury of redshirting him this year so he can finish his recovery and rip it up in 2014.

  13. This guy is CJ Spiller, with what is probably a bit more lateral quickness. If the knee is healed, he’ll be a star. And more importantly, the kind of class act the NFL can’t have enough of.

  14. REALLY hope the Steelers take a gamble on this kid. Either way I’ll root for him his whole career. (unless he winds up in Baltimore)

  15. If I were this gent, I would place a call to one Adrian Peterson and see what it took to be the “BEST” after injury. This is one back I would love to have around when the chips need to be down if health. Good luck!

  16. I still pray for this kid. I almost cried when I saw him ball in pain for the second time in South Carolina.

    Pull through, for yourself and family, and for those who need your kind of inspiration.

  17. Lattimore averaged a hair under 21 touches per game at South Carolina. His first ACL injury occurred while he was blocking. Anyone who blames Spurrier for overusing Marcus is ill-informed, at best. Probably Georgia fans.

  18. im a little confused at all this late round talk. it seems to me that both of lattimore’s injuries were freak occurrences that were not due to problems with his body makeup. I see no reason why this kid can’t come back and be at full strength within a year. if he drops past round three i will be surprised. he is potentially a pro-bowl caliber back in this league, i would love to have him on the vikes.

  19. I am rooting for this guy. Listened to him in interviews and before he got hurt in college his running style reminded me of the 2012 NFL MVP when he was in college. Can’t believe he came back from that injury and I truly hope he gets success in the league.

  20. raydahhs75 says: Apr 24, 2013 6:49 PM

    This guy is CJ Spiller, with what is probably a bit more lateral quickness. If the knee is healed, he’ll be a star. And more importantly, the kind of class act the NFL can’t have enough of.
    _____________
    They have literally (OK, figuratively) nothing in common, besides being fast, and in that respect Spiller has a bit more quickness. If you actually watch Lattimore play, you’d see that he is just like Arian Foster, young Clinton Portis, or Terrell Davis– a strong zone runner who has the speed to take it off tackle and cut the corner if he needs to. On top of that, he’s an excellent blocking back. Spiller is good, don’t get me wrong, but he’ll never be a quintessential three-down workhorse.

    Can’t disagree with you on class though- Lattimore will succeed in the NFL on drive alone.

  21. I have no feelings for or against Lattimore or South Carolina, however, I wish him all the best. I hate to see a talented player get injured before he even has a chance in the pros.

    PS, I hope he goes to my Niners!

  22. I would really love to see Lattimore go to Philly because my girl is a die hard fan. Would love to see him and McCoy share the backfield, while seeing the name on the back of her jersey. Lattimore is a beast while getting a cheap shot from Volunteers…..

  23. If a team thinks they can burn any of thier picks, that team might take a chance on him.

    I do not see this guy getting drafted. He is a year away from attmpting a comeback at this point. He likely will not be able to play in any effective capacity. Both knees blown out, one the most sever knee injury I have ever seen.

    Gotta love his heart, but I don’t know if he will be on a roster this year.

  24. I think he may be a 49er. A perfect replacement for legendary Frank Gore. Gore had 2 ACL’s at The U. Been a war horse on the Niners for 8 seasons. I hope the Niners get him, a true value pick.

  25. jebdamone says: Apr 24, 2013 7:51 PM

    im a little confused at all this late round talk. it seems to me that both of lattimore’s injuries were freak occurrences that were not due to problems with his body makeup…
    ____________
    Did Theismann retire because of “problems with his body makeup”? Was it a “body makeup problem” that ended Peyton’s tenure with the Colts?

    Sometimes people get hit, and parts of their body break. It can be fixed, but there’s always a concern that the broken part will not work as well after. That’s why people use Carfax when they buy a car. Lattimore is a 2012 Mercedes that was in a pretty bad pileup. It doesn’t matter how well he runs after they fix him up, he’s no longer worth the Blue Book value.

    That said, Lattimore will come back just fine and be a star within the next couple years, but that’s why he’s going to be a mid-late round pick.

  26. blows my mind that ANYBODY would “thumbs down” a comment rooting for Lattimore to make it in the NFL. you guys are about equal to the scum that builds up in a sewer line!

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