According to ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad, Lattimore has decided to forego his remaining year of eligibility at South Carolina and make himself available for the April NFL draft. An official announcement is expected at some point this week, Schad reports.
If the move comes to fruition, it would be far from surprising. While Lattimore is one of the most talented backs in the game, he’s also seen his last two seasons come to an end due to significant injuries. He tore an ACL and missed the second half of the 2011 season before missing the last three games this season after dislocating his kneecap and tearing several ligaments in his knee in a game against Tennessee.
Because of the severity of the most recent injury, Lattimore will likely be unable to fully or even partially participate in the physical aspects of the NFL’s Scouting Combine. In fact, there’s a very real possibility the back could be forced to sit out the 2013 season.
Lattimore’s decision reportedly comes with the blessing of head coach Steve Spurrier, although the Ol’ Ball Coach stated back in late October that the player had told him he would be returning to the Gamecocks.