Running back Marcus Lattimore continues to defy odds and logic with his miraculous recovery from a devastating knee injury. Lattimore performed drills at Wednesday’s South Carolina pro day, just five months after tearing multiple ligaments in a win over the Tennessee Volunteers.
His workout was limited — Lattimore told reporters his regimen was limited to the ladder drill, 18-inch box jumps and lunges, but it was still enough to impress the scouts from each of the NFL’s 32 teams in attendance.
“Marcus was tremendously impressive in the weight room,” said South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier. “I didn’t know he could do all the things he did. I think he could play in three or four months.”
The NFL preseason begins in a little over four months.
“My knee is good. I could be out there doing something but it’s just not smart to be doing that at this time,” he said. “I’m doing great and I’ll be ready to go [for the start of the 2013 NFL season]. I wanted to be out there really bad, just go out there and run some routes because I love football.”
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com called Lattimore’s workout “a celebration” of the standout back’s rehabilitation. This is the second major knee injury from which Lattimore has had to battle back, and this time, it mirrors the speedy recovery of 2012 NFL rushing leader Adrian Peterson.
Lattimore’s road to the NFL draft is inspiring. The South Carolina junior never wallowed in self-pity, instead determining to both strengthen himself and help others.
Without Lattimore, the Gamecocks open the 2013 season on national television against the North Carolina Tar Heels. This battle of Carolinas is slated for Aug. 29, the first day of games for the upcoming campaign.
Though the Worldwide Leader in Sports is showcasing South Carolina’s season opener, Spurrier aired grievances against the network on Wednesday. Specifically, he cited ESPN broadcasting the pro day a USC Trojans team coming off a 7-6 finish. South Carolina finished 11-2 and ranked No. 7 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll, No. 8 in the Associated Press.
The 2013 Gamecocks are primed for a front-running campaign in the SEC East with Heisman Trophy contending defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
“They want us to play all these Thursday night games,” Josh Kendall of The State quoted Spurrier. The North Carolina game is indeed a Thursday night. South Carolina opened on Thursday night last season against Vanderbilt, as well.