According to Joe Schad of ESPN and FitsNews.com, Marcus Lattimore will enter the 2013 NFL draft.
That rumor had been floating around for at least a month, but now it seems official.
Lattimore is South Carolina’s career leader in touchdowns with 41. In three years (two of which were cut short by injury), he’s rushed for just under 2700 yards and gained almost 800 yards receiving.
Schad’s article, which was based on information given to him by a “source close to the player”, says an official announcement could come as early as this week.
“Since the injury, Lattimore has spoken with other running backs who came back from knee injuries, such as Willis McGahee, Frank Gore and Eddie George. Lattimore believes the time is right to enter the NFL draft, in part to have as long a professional career as possible.”
Both articles say Lattimore’s rehabilitation is progressing on schedule and he’ll start working with NFL doctors soon.
Willis McGahee, who Lattimore reportedly talked to during his decision making process, was drafted in the first round in 2003 despite a knee injury that some called career-threatening.
Lattimore probably won’t go that high, because even before his second injury most mock draft experts had him falling somewhere in the second round.
All I know is that Steve Spurrier advises his third year players to only enter the draft if they’re going to get picked at a reasonable level. There’s no way he wouldn’t have tried to convince Lattimore to stay if he didn’t think the star running back would be drafted.
Whether that means he’ll fall somewhere between the third and final round remains to be seen, but if he can progress through this injury like he did the last one, he’ll be a starting running back in the NFL some day… Maybe as early as next year.