Back on February 2, 2010 when Marcus Lattimore committed to the University of South Carolina we all knew he was going to be good football player, but most of us never expected him to make such a big impact on a program and a fan base. Most fans expected the top high school running back to come in and play three years and move on to the NFL. Well that time has come, and it will be a topic of discussion for months to come. Over the past two seasons we have seen our star running back endure season ending injuries that may or may not have tainted his NFL career.
As a Gamecock fan you never want to see a player leave but in the case of Lattimore, I think it is the right decision. Most experts don't think Marcus will be fully healed and ready to play in 2013, so why not go ahead and move on the NFL where he can rehab his knee and learn a NFL offense. Lattimore the true team player, will allow younger players such as Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds to get an opportunity to be the starting running back in 2013 without having to move back in the depth chart in 2014 when he would return.
I think most people want what is best for Lattimore and his future. He can always return to school after his pro career and get his diploma so that shouldn't be an issue. Lattimore has proven on the field and off that he is a quality human being and will be fine in whatever he decides to do.
The playing career of a NFL running back is a short one, and I personally feel that every snap that Lattimore would play in a Gamecock jersey past this season would only hurt his NFL career. Will Marcus be a first round draft pick, probably not, but I don't think he would have been a first round draft pick if he was healthy. NFL GM's have been drafting running backs later and later over the past few years. As well all know, Lattimore doesn't have to be a high draft pick to be a quality NFL running back, he will just need time and the opportunity,
Marcus we here at LOHD wish you the best of luck in your future endevors. In an era where pro athletes are looked up to as role models and most shouldn't be, you will be one of the few that will make a difference.
Get more great South Carolina sports analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.