Rumors and unofficial reports became reality this afternoon – South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will leave school and enter the 2013 NFL draft. Lattimore made the announcement at a news conference just moments ago, calling it “the best decision for me.”
The South Carolina running back suffered a brutal knee injury against Tennessee in October. He leaves Columbia with 2,677 career rushing yards and 38 rushing touchdowns.
USC team doctor Jeff Guy also spoke at the news conference, saying Lattimore injured three of four ligaments. But only one ligament was completely reconstructed – his ACL. His other ligaments were reattached or supplemented and reattached.
Lattimore has started walking and is “perfectly on-course” to where he should be right now. There are no plans for additional surgery.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said yesterday that Lattimore has “first-round ability” but he’s a “wild card” because of the knee injury. “He is the only elite running back, when he’s healthy, in this draft. Everybody else is a third-, fourth-round pick or back”
Steve Spurrier said Lattimore’s “influence and fingerprints are all over our team,” calling the running back the team’s best recruiter.