Watching Marcus Lattimore go down with a knee injury in the middle of the college football season, was one of the more heartbreaking stories of 2012. The South Carolina running back was considered the best at his position and poised to be a top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. After the injury, many figured his career was over before it began. However, Lattimore plans on attending the NFL Combine after making progress rehabbing the injury. He told a South Carolina radio show that doctors "will be shocked, I can tell you that."
Lattimore is four months into rehabbing a knee injury he suffered in October during a game against Tennessee. While he may not be able to participate in all of the running drills during the combine, he still has the chance to impress people. He can interview with teams and go through the medical exams. Dr. James Andrews is expected to attend the combine alongside Lattimore to answer any questions teams may have regarding his knee.
Many doubted if Lattimore would ever be able to come back from this injury. While full details about what damage actually took place were never released, it looked as if his football playing days were behind him. Lattimore said he plans on being ready to kick off the NFL season and play Week 1.
"I'm going to come back and be the first person ever to come back from what I had. It's going to be a great story and I'm going to have a great career," Lattimore said.
This is the second offseason that Lattimore has spent rehabbing a knee injury. This will put a lot of doubt about him in the minds of teams. His ability to stay healthy will be the main question asked during the combine. Draft analysts originally had Lattimore as a first round pick, but since the knee injury he is predicted at possibly being a third round pick now.
Even though he cannot workout, the combine is almost more important for than Lattimore than any other running back. He must show teams he is on a fast track to becoming healthy or no one will be willing to take a risk on him. If he is considered ahead of schedule in the rehab process, that adds more to his overall value. In 30 games, Lattimore rushed for 2,677 yards and 38 touchdowns. Statistically, he places third behind North Carolina's Giovani Bernard and Alabama's Eddie Lacy. At 6-0, 218 pounds, he fits the mold of an NFL running back, but none of that will matter if he is not ready play.