Marcus Lattimore to enter NFL draft

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore will reportedly enter the 2013 NFL draft. Lattimore set the school's all-time rushing touchdown record during his career as a Gamecock.

South Carolina star junior running back, Marcus Lattimore, will enter the 2013 NFL draft and forgo the remainder of his eligibility at South Carolina.

A source confirmed to GamecockAnthem over the weekend that it was Lattimore's intent to enter the draft and ESPN's Joe Schad has indicated on Monday that Lattimore will go pro with an announcement later this week.

Lattimore, the 2010 National Freshman of the Year, suffered a season-ending injury in the second quarter of the Tennessee game on October 27. Lattimore had surgery on his right knee to repair several ligaments and there were no other fractures or further injuries. Up until that point, Lattimore had rushed for 662 yards with 11 rushing touchdowns and caught 26 passes for 173 yards. Lattimore finished the season as South Carolina's leading rusher and had three 100-yard games this year in his comeback season after suffering a similar fate in 2011 that ended his season prematurely.

The decision by Lattimore to turn pro is one that certainly weighed on the mind of the running back and his family. Ultimately, the decision to turn pro will give Lattimore a chance to begin his professional career while continuing the rehab process with the resources of the NFL.

According to Schad, Lattimore received counseling from other running backs like Willis McGahee, Frank Gore and Eddie George, who have all suffered a similar setback in their careers like Lattimore. GamecockAnthem was also told that Lattimore consulted with Dan Reaves, the former Gamecock football player and NFL head coach, about his potential future career as well.

Lattimore has set several South Carolina records, including most rushing touchdowns (38) and total touchdowns (41), during his career as a Gamecock.

The addition of Marcus Lattimore to South Carolina's program is one that can't be measured in numbers. During his time at South Carolina, the Gamecocks went on to have some of their greatest success ever as a football program. This football program and university is a better place thanks to Marcus Lattimore.

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