COLUMBIA, S.C. — Injured South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, said people familiar with the decision.
One person said Monday that Lattimore is expected to announce his decision later this week. The people spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has not been an official statements regarding Lattimore's decision.
The running back suffered a horrific injury to his right knee against Tennessee on Oct. 27. Doctors say Lattimore had successful surgery to repair several ligaments Nov. 2. It is unclear when he'll be able to return to the field.
Lattimore injured his left knee in 2011 as a sophomore. He rushed for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, both team highs. He is South Carolina's career leader in both overall touchdowns with 41 and rushing scores with 38.
Lattimore did not immediately answer a text message or phone call from The AP. ESPN first reported Lattimore's intention to declare for the draft.
Lattimore had been South Carolina's primary offensive force the past three seasons, starting from the time he stepped on campus as a freshman in 2010.
He missed the final six games of 2011 after tearing a knee ligament at Mississippi State. Lattimore had surgery on the left knee and plunged himself into rehab, returning for summer workouts with his teammates in early June.
Lattimore show few effects from the injury this season. He had three games with at least 100 yards rushing and appeared on the way to a fourth against the Vols when he was hurt again.
His left leg flopped to the turf and Lattimore struggled to contain his emotions in a silent Williams-Brice Stadium. Players from both teams surrounded Lattimore as doctors and trainers worked on the knee, praying and offering best wishes.
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