Marcus Lattimore calls NFL career ‘hell’
Marcus Lattimore was among the better running backs in college football until a knee injury suffered against Tennessee in 2012 ended his career at South Carolina. Later that year, Lattimore declared for the NFL Draft.
Knowing Lattimore was facing a long road to regaining his form, the 49ers selected the former Gamecock in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. However, Lattimore was never able to play in an NFL game due to recurring pain in his surgically repaired knee. After realizing a career in the NFL wasn’t going to materialize, Lattimore announced his retirement last November.
Now, back in South Carolina working with kids at football camps, Lattimore says his time as a professional was less than pleasant.
“I went out there and put a smile on my face like everything was alright,” Lattimore told SB Nation. “But it was hell. Every day.”
“My running backs coach was like, ‘Good job! Good job!’ ” he said. “My offensive coordinator — I was catching balls out of the backfield — was like, ‘Man you look good!’ I was like, ‘You have no clue.'”
After tearing a ligament in his left knee in 2011 and the injury to the right on in 2012, the amount of support for Marcus Lattimore to achieve his NFL dream was overwhelming. Unfortunately, Lattimore is a reminder of how short the shelf life of football players, running backs specifically, can be. Hopefully, he finds joy and happiness in his post-playing days serving as a mentor to young children.