Wednesday, Lattimore officially confirmed those reports.
At a press conference late Wednesday afternoon, the junior running back announced that he has decided to forego his remaining season of eligibility to play in the NFL. Whether playing in the NFL involves the 2013 season remains to be seen.
Lattimore suffered a devastating knee injury earlier this year, dislocating a kneecap and tearing three major ligaments. That was his second consecutive season-ending knee injury; his 2011 season was curtailed by a torn ACL.
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.
Despite two significant in-season injuries and the fact that he spent just three years in Columbia, Lattimore leaves 2,677 rushing yards, sixth on Carolina’s all-time list. He holds school records for both rushing touchdowns (38) and touchdowns scored (41).