ESPN is reporting this evening that South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore will declare for the 2013 NFL Draft. The South Carolina career touchdown leader was believed to be returning to college football next season after suffering yet another injury last season but ESPN along with the Associated Press are now reporting that the talented back will indeed try his hand at the next level.ESPN is reporting that an official announcement could come as early as Wednesday of this week.
Lattimore is recovering from an ACL and LCL injury suffered this season. This is the second major knee injury for Lattimore.
In three seasons at the University of South Carolina, he has rushed for 2,677 yards and 38 touchdowns. Lattimore had rushed for 662 yards and 11 scores this season before succumbing to injury on October 27.
Lattimore is currently rehabbing his knee and plans to attend the upcoming NFL Combine. The Gamecock running back is hoping his NFL career could mirror that of current Denver Broncos RB Willis McGahee. McGahee suffered a gruesome knee injury in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, and many pundits suggested that his football career might be over. McGahee declared for the 2003 NFL Draft and was selected at the end of the first round by the Buffalo Bills.
Despite sitting out the 2003 season, McGahee rushed for 1,128 yards and scored 13 touchdowns in his first season with the Bills.
Given the amazing recovery of Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson this year from his horrific knee injury at the end of the 2011 season, look for some NFL team roll the dice on Lattimore in the upcoming NFL draft.
McGahee has rushed for over 1,000 yards four times in his career and enjoyed a resurgence last season, posting an 1,199 yard season at age 30.