Lattimore will attend pro day at South Carolina

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 19, 2013
Running back Marcus Lattimore plans to show off the progress in his injured right knee at South Carolina's pro day next week. Lattimore told The Associated Press on Tuesday he's still about a month away from getting the green light for full-out sprints, yet may catch a few passes an lift weights for NFL personnel attending the session on March 27. Lattimore hurt his right knee against Tennessee in a horrific injury last October. He dislocated his knee and tore several ligaments as he was tackled on a carry late in the first half. Lattimore had surgery the next month, then gave up his final year of college by declaring for the NFL draft in December. Ever since, Lattimore has trained in Pensacola, Fla., at the Andrews Intstitute and Athletes Performance facilities. ''I feel like I can do just about anything as I could before,'' Lattimore said. He made that case to NFL teams at last month's scouting combine in Indianapolis. He spent about three or four hours getting checked out by team physicians and had his own surgeon, James Andrews, on hand to answer questions about the knee. Lattimore believes he'll be ready to play football in the fall, although Andrews said last month the road to Lattimore's comeback was still a long one. ''It's going to take a special effort,'' Andrews told the NFL Network at the combine. Lattimore knows about putting forth effort. He was an instant star in the Southeastern Conference after rushing for 182 yards and two touchdowns in his first league game, a 17-6 victory over Georgia in 2010. Lattimore led the SEC in rushing most of 2011 when he tore a ligament and suffered cartilage damage in his left knee, missing the final six games of South Carolina's season. Lattimore dug into rehab after surgery and was back running full speed two months before the Gamecocks began practice for 2012. Lattimore looked his strong, assured self on the field, leading the Gamecocks with 662 yards rushing when he stunningly went down for a second straight season in the opening half of a 38-35 victory over Tennessee. Lattimore doesn't remember the hit, just waking up in the hospital, his future as a rock-solid first-round draft pick gone. ''I thought maybe I wouldn't be able to play anymore,'' he said. Soon, though, Lattimore was bolstered by texts and Tweets from family, friends, fans and athletes he'd never met, like Miami Heat forward LeBron James and New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. The Gamecocks held a rally on campus two days after the injury on Lattimore's birthday. In the coming days, he'd heard from NFL runners Willis McGahee and Frank Gore, both who excelled in the pros after similarly devastating injuries. The support refocused his mind and gave him a clarity about what he needed to do to return to the field. Lattimore trains twice a day most weeks, running in a pool, and strengthening the knee and surrounding muscles. He sees Andrews several times a week and has gotten nothing but glowing reports from the surgeon about the knee's progress. Lattimore never gave credence to the idea that his injury would make South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney want to give sit out his junior year and wait for the 2014 NFL draft. However, Lattimore was glad Clowney purchased a $5 million insurance policy. Lattimore said he bought $1.8 million worth of insurance through the NCAA's program prior to his sophomore season, then renewed it as a junior. ''It just makes sense to have,'' Lattimore said. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Lattimore's drive will make him a success in football and whatever he does once his athletic career ends. Lattimore was a team leader during offseason drills, often showing up and running when teammates had stadium steps to do as team punishments. The Gamecocks lost only one of their 10 games the past two seasons after Lattimore's injuries. ''We played at a (high) level because of him,'' Spurrier said of Lattimore. ''We just kept carrying on the way Marcus always did.'' The hardest part for Lattimore is being on his own in Florida without family, teammates and college coaches to lean on during difficult times. Lattimore keeps himself busy on weekends speaking with youth groups and at church functions. He appeared at a Greenville Boys & Girls Club youth clinic this past Saturday, sharing his story of overcoming injury. ''It's something everybody can relate to,'' he said. ''I hope to show people if you just stay positive, you can recover and come out stronger than you were.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker