Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore says he's ready to begin his NFL career later this week.
Lattimore was in Columbia Wednesday to see his mother, Yolanda Smith, make a motivational speech. Related Coverage: Lattimore's Mother Leans on Faith
The San Francisco 49ers drafted Lattimore in the 4th Round of last month's NFL Draft. He's set to leave for San Francisco on Friday.
"It really hasn't even hit me yet, the realization that I'm in the NFL," Lattimore said. "I still feel like I'm in college. Once I get there I feel like it'll hit me."
Lattimore fell into the fourth round because of his history of knee injuries. Because he knew it would be a while before he'd get picked, Lattimore didn't watch the draft on television, and was actually at a Benihana's restaurant in Atlanta when he got called by the team.
"Just really didn't want to watch it, wanted to get away from it," he said.
He's still recovering from tearing his ligaments last October, and says that while he can run around, he hasn't been able to make sharp cuts yet.
Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers head coach, made statements after the draft that seemed to indicate he may be inclined to keeping Lattmore off the field for 2013 until he recovers. Lattimore said for now, he's not sure what the plan will be.
"It really doesn't matter," Lattimore said. "I just fell like whatever's best for me that's what I'll do."
For now, he said the last few months have tested him, but he feels it made him stronger.
"I've been tested by faith seeing if iIm going to be able to trust in [God] and trust in His plan. That's what I'm doing and I'm going to continue to do that. Whatever happens it happens for a reason because He put it on my heart."