Heart Breaking – Marcus Lattimore Retires From The NFL


It is news that most Gamecock fans would describe with two words – heart breaking – Marcus Lattimore retires from the NFL, ending his journey to play in the NFL after what will now be known as a career-ending injury in 2012.

Most Gamecock fans know the journey of Lattimore.  South Carolina’s Mr, Football in 2010 after a record setting high school career at Byrnes High School.  He was listed as one of the top ten players in the nation when he signed on to attend the University of South Carolina.  He was like a bolt of lightning his freshman year, setting the single season TD record for the Gamecocks with 19, and unanimous choice for National Freshman of the Year.  He finished his first season with almost 1,200 yards rushing and immediately became a fan favorite with his electrifying runs and huge smile.

In 2011 he began the year as a Heisman trophy candidate, and was having a great year with over 800 yards rushing and 10 TDs in just 7 games.  Then against Mississippi State, while blocking for wide receiver Bruce Ellington, Lattimore tore ligaments in his left knee, and his stellar season came to a grinding halt.  Many wondered would Marcus be able to even come back the next season considering how late in that year the injury occurred.

Lattimore’s work ethic in recovery continued to create the legend, and he was back on the field at the beginning of the 2012 season ready to go.  Everyone was amazed that he was even on the field, and he continued to gain fans everywhere by setting the school’s all time touchdown record of 39 touchdowns.  Although this season was not as strong as the previous two, he still had over 600 yards rushing an 10 TDs helping the Gamecocks to a 6-2 record, and many felt he would be drafted in the first round in the upcoming NFL draft.  However, on Octber 27, 2012 playing against Tennessee, Lattimore tore ligaments in his other knee on a devastating hit.  It was unthinkable – that the star who worked so hard to come back from a traumatic injury now had another one in the other knee.  Another season was suddenly over for the beloved superstar.

Macrus Lattimore vowed to fight through this a second time, and given his work ethic and how he recovered previously, the San Francisco 49ers selected him in the fourth round of the NFL draft, knowing he probably would not play for at least a year.  Marcus did not play or practice for the first six weeks of this season, but last Wednesday was back on the field for the first time, and people were again very impressed watching him run the ball.  However, by the end of the week he had soreness in his knee, something that shouldn’t be there, and it was an indication that the injuries may have been too severe for anyone, even Marcus Lattimore, to overcome.

Fans, players, coaches, even the media have been pulling for Lattimore, praying that he could find his way not only back onto the field, but get the chance to show everyone how good he is.  Sadly, that does not seem to be in the cards, and now he will begin to prepare for the next phase of his journey, one that will not include starting on Sundays in the NFL.  The good news is I’m sure whatever he does he will be successful.