October 27, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore (21) runs for a touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Could this be his final touchdown for the Garnet and Black? Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE

Is he gone? Lattimore to the NFL rumblings are getting louder.

Multiple outlets are reporting that record-smashing Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will make his return to football professionally in the NFL, foregoing any future eligiblity.

Lattimore suffered his second season-ending injury (in as many years) in the first half of an October win over the Tennessee Volunteers.  Garnet and Cocky first caught wind of this yesterday when it was tweeted by @sportstalksc.  Initially, we regarded this as a non-story because it seemed a bit sudden and unsourced.  Now, the rumblings are getting louder.

Tuesday, Phil Kornblut and Keven McCrarey are reporting that Carolina coaches have been informing recruits (namely Philadelphia RB David Williams) they do not expect Lattimore to suit up again for the Garnet and Black.

As Kornblut and McCrarey are quick to point out, nothing is finalized.  We still don’t think much stock should be put into these reports until we hear an announcement either way.  With the deadline to declare for the NFL draft approaching in mid-January, it shouldn’t take too long.

We will go on record with the following:  for purely selfish reasons, we would love nothing more than to see Marcus Lattimore back in Carolina garnet.  But, no one (ourselves included) should feel bad about it if Lattimore declares for the draft.  He has smashed records that were held by Heisman winning George Rogers, been the soul and leader of our football team, worked hard in school and…we may not realize it yet, but he’s taught us a lot as well.  Despite the adversity he’s faced, he is Carolina’s favorite son.

If he declares, I guarantee I will order my Lattimore jersey (no matter who picks him up) the second they become available.



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