A gruesome leg injury prematurely ended Marcus Lattimore‘s 2012 season. As it turns out, it brought to a premature end his collegiate playing career as well.
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.
While the news of late has been littered with the exits of two SEC wide receivers, one team from the Big Ten is welcoming back a player who plays the same position.
In a press release, Rutgers confirmed that Leonte Carroo has been reinstated to the Scarlet Knights football program. The release stated that head coach Kyle Flood, who is suspended himself, “reinstated Carroo after the student-athlete agreed to the conditions of his reinstatement and after he accepted the responsibility that comes with his return to the team.”
The reinstatement comes one day after a domestic violence charge against him was dropped after the alleged victim decided not to testify against he former boyfriend. Carroo had been accused of slamming a woman with whom he had a previous relationship into the concrete outside of the RU football facility last month.
Carroo has missed the last two games (Penn State, Kansas) because of the suspension. He will be eligible to return to practice today and play in Saturday’s game against 10th-ranked Michigan State.
Despite missing those two contests, Carroo is still tops on the team in receiving yards with 181 and tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. He’s also averaging nearly 26 yards per reception.
Carroo led the Scarlet Knights last season in receptions (55), receiving yards (1,086) and receiving touchdowns (10).
It’s been a bad week for talented SEC wide receivers.
On the heels of Auburn giving the boot to D’haquille Williams following an alleged bar rampage, Tennessee announced Wednesday that Pig Howard has been dismissed from Butch Jones‘ football program. Violations of unspecified team rules was the only explanation offered.
Howard had been suspended for the season opener for the same reason due to an unspecified incident several months before. It’s unknown if the dismissal is related in any way to that suspension.
Injuries had allowed the senior to play in just two games this season, against Oklahoma and Western Carolina. He had one reception for eight yards, with that coming in the overtime loss to the Sooners.
The past two seasons, Howard led the Vols in receiving with 54 and 44 receptions in 2014 and 2013, respectively. He accounted for 1,006 receiving yards in that span, and has also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.