Marcus Lattimore (Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - ESPN is reporting that USC running back Marcus Lattimore has decided to enter the 2013 NFL Draft, foregoing a possible return for a senior season at Carolina.
Monday morning, ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad quoted a source close to Lattimore that said the back had decided to leave, and that an official announcement would come later in the week.
A spokesperson from the University of South Carolina tells WLTX that he was not aware that Lattimore had made a decision.
"Marcus is weighing his decision about what he wants to do," said Steve Spurrier said in a telephone interview with GreenvilleOnline.com Monday. "I think we should give him some time and let him consider his options. When he's ready, I'm sure they will have a press conference. In fact, I think they're going to have one later this week."
Lattimore has been recovering since suffering damage to the tendons in his knee during the Tennessee game. It was the second straight year Lattimore had been injured during the season, causing him to miss the remainder of the schedule.
According to Schad, Lattimore had consulted with other NFL players who've had similar injuries, and decided that rehabbing his knee with NFL doctors was in his best interest.
Theoretically, Lattimore had one year of eligibility left. However, due to the extent of his injury, a return in 2013 was considered unlikely. Schad's report says Lattimore understands that he might not play, even in the NFL, until 2014.
If true, this concludes one of the most heralded careers in Gamecocks history. When he came out of Byrnes High School in 2010, he was the consensus number one running back in the nation and had been named South Carolina's "Mr. Football."
Lattimore has 2,677 career rushing yards, which is sixth in school history. He has 41 total touchdowns and 38 rushing touchdowns, which are both school records.