Marcus Lattimore announces his retirement

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49ers tailback Marcus Lattimore, whose brilliant collegiate career was cut short by serious left knee injuries, announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday.

Lattimore’s retirement comes one week after he returned to practice to test his injured knee. However, it reportedly did not go as well as hoped for the second-year running back, leading to speculation about his future.

While playing for South Carolina, the 23-year-old Lattimore tore multiple ligaments in his left knee against Tennessee on October 27, 2012. The 49ers selected him in Round Four of the 2013 NFL Draft, but he never appeared in a pro game as he worked to get healthy, spending both seasons on the reserve/non-football injury list.

In explaining his decision to retire, Lattimore indicated that rehabilitating his injured knee “fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable.”

Said Lattimore in a statement released by the 49ers: “After prayer and careful consideration, I have decided it’s time to end my professional football career. I have given my heart and soul to the game that I love, and it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life and help others.”

Lattimore said he would return to South Carolina to finish his degree.

“This was a very difficult decision for Marcus and it was clear after speaking with him that he had put a lot of thought into it,” 49ers G.M. Trent Baalke said of Lattimore. “He is a high-character young man who has done everything asked of him and more during his time with us and we have a great deal of respect for the strength and commitment he showed throughout the rehab process.

“It has been a pleasure to have Marcus as a member of our team and our community and we are confident that he will be very successful in whichever path he chooses to take in life. We look forward to supporting Marcus and wish him nothing but the best.”

72 responses to “Marcus Lattimore announces his retirement

  1. Good luck, my man. Glad to see you always stayed positive and will continue to be positive as you move forward. Lord knows most people would’ve had a rough time keeping their head up during such difficult times.

  2. Life just isn’t fair sometimes even to a class act like Marcus Lattimore. Good for him staying upbeat and returning to school where he has tons of support. His attitude will take him far in life.

  3. Would’ve been a great comeback type of story if he was able to get that knee back to 100%. Sorry to hear but at least he is going back to finish his degree.

  4. such a horrific injury, you gave it a galliant effort to make a comeback Marcus, it just was not meant to be. Good luck and get that degree

  5. Remember when 49ers fans were gloating about how they snatched the next Frank Gore/Adrian Peterson from right under the noses of the rest of the league?

    Another vintage Santa Clara pick, along with AJ Jenkins, LaMichael James, Cory Lemonier, and Colin Kaepernick.

    Maybe if they drafted players ready to actually play, they might be over .500

  6. If Joe Theismann had come back from his injury, I would have held out some kinda hope this kid could too. But Theismann couldn’t and didn’t. So I didn’t. The two worst things I had the supreme misfortune to see. Now its finished.

    God Bless you young man. Keep your head and heart as straight as they are now – and you will accomplish all that’s out there for you.

  7. While it’s easy to just read this article and think “what a shame,” most of us don’t even have the slightest clue as to how truly difficult of a decision this young guy was forced to make. The feeling of fulfillment is something that can be very elusive to a lot of us, for whatever reason, and playing the game of football helped Lattimore to achieve his own fulfillment. Long-time athletes often attest to the struggles involved in obtaining this feeling after their careers have come to a halt, as if a large piece of themselves is entirely absent. It’s not going to be easy at all for this young guy, and eventually he will have to replace playing the game of football with another activity that can succeed in fulfilling him as a man. Instantly I thought that a future in coaching, at least as a RBs coach, could help him achieve that. He’s smart enough to head back to the classroom for now, but I think he’ll be back on the field soon enough, even if that means him playing a role outside of the field of play…as a coach. I truly hope he can find his own sense of fulfillment in whatever he does moving forward.

  8. The University of South Carolina should offer this man paid employment on the football staff. I think he would be a great mentor to incoming recruits at that school. Oh and I’m a Crimson Tide fan..

  9. Hopefully between the insurance policy and whatever salary he’s made he has some financial stability. By all accounts, a really good guy with a bright future in front of him.

  10. He got his insurance and his NFL payday. Regular students who get hurt walking on campus have zero recourse to recoup damages for their injuries on campus.

  11. Good thing the NCAA got their mandatory years out of him so they could make money instead of this kid, right? Damn shame for his career to never pan out hopefully he succeeds in whatever he does next. Down with the NCAA

  12. Nothing but love for Marcus. Although this door has closed…. I’m positive he will many more open. Wish you nothing but the best and I know you’ll find what you’re looking for. #FAITHFUL4LIFE

  13. Had high hopes for him as a 49er though I’m sure he will be fine whatever he does next. Glad the team showed some class in making his dreams come true by risking a draft pick on him and were as patient with his recovery as you could be. Some of you will find a way to knock them for a wasted draft pick but I think it’s pretty coolp

  14. And this is why you got to get paid while you can… The lifespan is short for most to begin with not accounting for serious injury which can occur anytime, ending a career in a moment.

    Go back to school young man, finish what you started and make your millions elsewhere… God Bless.

  15. It’s kind of weird and sad to think that one of the things that life handed him that made him great got badly broken and he couldn’t get it back to 100%. I wanted him to succeed very badly just cause it would have been a great story.

    Luckily, people aren’t defined by only one thing in life. He’s got a chance to do something else great now. Best of luck dude.

  16. Sooooo impressive as a college back. I was looking forward to, and hoped he would make it back…. Great back, gonna miss watching him.

  17. I suspect that this young man is going to take this personal disappointment and enrich the lives of those who know him more than some who achieve personal success. I don’t know why I think that. It’s just that the resiliency of people who suffer a setback can strengthen their character beyond normal expectations.

  18. Instead of the Heisman House, Nissan should should consider doing The Bust House and have guys like Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell and Lattimore in the commercials. Soon RG3 and “Money” Manziel will be living there.

  19. Hate it for him. Seems like a good guy. I knew it was going to be tough watching that UT/USC game live. Hopefully he can go back to USC and finish up his degree and do something that he wants with his life. I wish him well.

  20. fellow South Carolinian here man I’m praying for you…I can’t wait to see you walk across that stage with your degree and join a coaching Staff at a great school…

  21. It’s a shame he didn’t get to keep playing the game he loved, but he’s young and has his whole life in front of him. Most of us never sniff the NFL and manage to get along ok. I hope he lives his life forward and not with regret.

  22. SC should pay him $1mil/yr. to coach the defense.. they owe him & the D can’t possibly get any worse

  23. Very sorry to hear about this. Lattimore is a class guy. Hope he’s able to land work as a coach, or in a field he excels in.

    Wishing you all the best life has to offer, Marcus.

  24. As a fan of football, sad to see him unable to fulfill his dream and our high hopes for him. As a fan of life, good for him! It’s tough to make such a hard decision at such a young age, but it is obviously what is best for him and he will be successful in any endeavor that he pursues.

  25. Spurrier and the AD have already said there is a place for Marcus in the athletic department at the University. Marcus is pure class and he would be an asset to whoever he decides to work for.

  26. This is why it’s a privilege to play in the NFL not a right. My only wish was that he would take the goalline carry from last week’s gutwrenching loss and score the GW td and announce his retirement. 1 carry 1 yard 1 TD, to help his team win. Good luck to you in the future and thank you for conducting yourself as a member of the 49ers organization with class, diginity and character.

  27. Spurrier has already said Marcus has a job waiting for him. So no, not all colleges chew em up and spit them out. Here in SC we take care of our own. Marcus will have a chance to earn his degree and work on the coaching staff while he does, if he chooses. The young man is nothing but class, some of you posters just have no clue.

  28. Good luck Marcus, had high hopes for you, sorry it didnt work out but since day one you’ve been a class act and have drawn nothing but praise from teammates and coaches alike.

    Good luck in future endeavors, this guy was a true warrior and I feel like someone with his spirit and work ethic will succeed at whatever he ends up doing.

  29. Have a wonderful, productive, rewarding and long life. It may not seem so, but this is a small bump in the road.

  30. Congrats on going back to school. As an NFL player, he’s getting out of the NFL exactly what most players get….on avg. 3 yrs of the lifestyle and a starter package of funds (if saved) to go back out in the real world. He’s bought himself some time to finish his studies, start a career, etc depending on his abilities, but not enough to retire over 40 yrs.

    His disability policy he signed in college was voided a while ago (unless he had a special policy) because most won’t pay if you try to play again. it’s only for total and permanent disability.

    I wish him the best.

  31. This is Baalke’s boilerplate PR release when somebody leaves or is kicked to the curb. The same document will surface in about 2 months, with “Lattimore” replaced with “Harbaugh”.

  32. A darn shame to hear. Hard to believe that in today’s age, with the advancements in knee surgeries, that his injury was THAT bad. But some injuries are just too much to overcome. I know he will probably never have to buy a drink again in Columbia. I really hoped he would make it back.

  33. Spurrier rode Lattimore hard because he couldn’t find & develop a decent QB during most of Marcus’s tenure at SC (so much for being the great QB guru) .. there were games where the kid had @ 40 carries & took incredible punishment.. it was just a matter if time before his body broke down.. Spurrier needs to go all out for this kid, he owes it to him & Marcus deserves it as much as anyone to ever play at SC

  34. High class kid in every way.

    He worked his butt off to chase his dream.

    Kudos for toughing it out Marcus.
    Sorry we didn’t get the chance to see you realize your Pro aspirations.

    Best of luck to you and thanks for setting a positive example.

  35. Football ends sometime for everyone. Too bad Lattimore’s came so soon. The fans missed out on watching a great talent.

    Hope life is good to Marcus.

  36. Not a 49er fan but I have been pulling for this young man remembering what a impressive college player he was.I was thrilled last week when they announced he was going to be activated and I then looked forward to seeing him play .I guess when he got out there playing he no longer had it anymore…..I still give him all the credit in the world for trying and I wish him the best in whatever he choses to do in life

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