AP Sources: Gamecocks' Lattimore declaring for NFL

FILE - This Sept. 29, 2012, file photo shows South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (21) running away from Kentucky's Mike Douglas (50) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky. Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, said people familiar with the decision. One person said Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, that Lattimore is expected to announce his decision later this week. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statements regarding Lattimore's decision. (AP Photo/Garry Jones, File)

FILE - This Sept. 29, 2012, file photo shows South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (21) running away from Kentucky's Mike Douglas (50) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky. Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, said people familiar with the decision. One person said Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, that Lattimore is expected to announce his decision later this week. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statements regarding Lattimore's decision. (AP Photo/Garry Jones, File)

FILE - This July 20, 2011 file photo shows South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore talking with reporters during Southeastern Conference football media days in Hoover, Ala.  Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, said people familiar with the decision. One person said Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, that Lattimore is expected to announce his decision later this week. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statements regarding Lattimore's decision. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

FILE - This July 20, 2011 file photo shows South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore talking with reporters during Southeastern Conference football media days in Hoover, Ala. Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, said people familiar with the decision. One person said Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, that Lattimore is expected to announce his decision later this week. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statements regarding Lattimore's decision. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

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

One person said Monday that Lattimore is expected to announce his decision later this week. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statements regarding Lattimore's decision.

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 on 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 both overall touchdowns with 41 and rushing scores with 38.

Lattimore did not immediately answer a text message or phone call from The AP. ESPN first reported Lattimore's intention to declare for the draft.

Lattimore had been South Carolina's primary offensive force the past three seasons, starting from the time he stepped on campus as a freshman in 2010.

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

Lattimore show 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.

His left leg flopped to the turf and Lattimore struggled to contain his emotions in a silent Williams-Brice Stadium. Players from both teams surrounded Lattimore as doctors and trainers worked on the knee, praying and offering best wishes.

Two days later, South Carolina held a rally on campus to celebrate Lattimore's 21st birthday and wish him well in his recovery. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier told the crowd he 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 the facing of one of the stadium's spiral ramps. Lattimore had a taped message to fans on the stadium's large video board, saying he felt fine and was "working to get back to football."

Lattimore might not have made the field this season away, Spurrier saying doctors told him rehabilitation might've taken about a year. Lattimore had a redshirt year available at South Carolina and could've 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 ends his South Carolina sixth in rushing with 2,677 yards and had 11 games with 100 yards or more. He also had 74 catches for 767 yards and three touchdowns in his career.

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Comments » 15

spencer1989#206886 writes:

If he trully is declaring for the NFL draft, then I wish him the best of luck....And in his continued recovery. He is a very talented and unselfish person that represents himself and USC in the highest way possible. I look forward to seeing him play on game days on Sunday while knowing that another gifted talent and well respected person came from the SEC.

orangecountyvols writes:

Spencer, and fellow Vols,

Well said. Wishing him the best of luck. It was a horrible injury. Without him, it might be interesting when the Gamecocks come to visit in Neyland Stadium.

If the rehab takes a year, curious as to why he'd declare for the NFL. He's a good kid and a real talent. That's the kind of back the Vols need.........someone like him or Lacey, etc. Once upon a time we had those backs, Jamal Lewis, Hayden, Graham, Johnny Jones etc. Gotta' find em' shomehow !

BolivrBob writes:

You would think someone would be asking Bray and Hunter where they stand

6972 writes:

Thank goodness for Tn and good luck to what seems to be a fine, well respected young man.

Millisa writes:

I wish Lattimore the Best in the NFL and Hope He gets better soon

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I just hope all the South Carolina, LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama, Florida and Georgia juniors will follow him.

ncvol17 writes:

Hope he gets a nice signing bonus. Seems brittle, NFL career might mirror Gayle Sayers

wigmeister writes:

Wish him the best! Whole lot of talent!

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

When Hunter ,Bray and Patterson bolt for the NFL look no further than what has happened to Lattimore. Colleges could care less about you. You are in the meat grinder of winning and making money for programs. Take the money to bank while the money is there. If you 1st or second round material, go to the NFL! Wishing them luck after the fact don't put one penny in the bank

eVOLved writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Spencer, and fellow Vols,

Well said. Wishing him the best of luck. It was a horrible injury. Without him, it might be interesting when the Gamecocks come to visit in Neyland Stadium.

If the rehab takes a year, curious as to why he'd declare for the NFL. He's a good kid and a real talent. That's the kind of back the Vols need.........someone like him or Lacey, etc. Once upon a time we had those backs, Jamal Lewis, Hayden, Graham, Johnny Jones etc. Gotta' find em' shomehow !

OCV, it's an interesting thought, but I think he is tired of getting hurt while doing "pro bono" work for the NCAA. The next time he risks his ligaments, muscles and bones, he wants to be paid doing so.

huntined#565710 writes:

WOW just wondering why he didn't stay and graduate and rehab for a year and play and see where he is at the end of another year,,

Basketvol writes:

Seems like a risky move, but so does playing another year in college. Whatever happens, I wish him the best. He's a great football players and seems to be a class act as well. It was a gruesome injury and I'm sorry it happened while playing UT. I know this is the risk they take, but it's hard to watch sometimes.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

When Hunter ,Bray and Patterson bolt for the NFL look no further than what has happened to Lattimore. Colleges could care less about you. You are in the meat grinder of winning and making money for programs. Take the money to bank while the money is there. If you 1st or second round material, go to the NFL! Wishing them luck after the fact don't put one penny in the bank

I wonder how many commode doors will get drafted in the first couple of rounds.Ugh I guess NONE would be the answer to that one.

gamecockfan writes:

Marcus wishing you the best of luck in your career.
You will succeed in life.
God speed on your rehab.
You will go far.

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