When Marcus Lattimore hurt his knee last fall, my immediate reaction was he would never play football again.
The injury was awful. Anyone who saw it had to wonder if his career would end on that field from the gruesome hit. It was as bad of a leg injury as we've ever seen on a college football field.
And here we are, not even April, and Marcus Lattimore is working out for NFL scouts. It was just a fairly limited pro day workout, but it feels like we're watching one of the great comeback stories in a many years.
Here's what South Carolina tweeted out:
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) March 27, 2013
That applause had to be an emotional moment for Lattimore. It should be for all college football fans, too.
Lattimore didn't do a full workout, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net. He did 15-20 minutes of rehab drills to show the strength and movement in his knee. That doesn't take away from his accomplishment at pro day.
This is a man who, exactly five months ago today, had his knee hanging on the wrong side of his body as he was carted off the field. When he said a couple months later he was going to the NFL draft instead of coming back to South Carolina, it looked like a Hail Mary to get selected and rehabilitate under the watch of NFL doctors. Now, with Lattimore already able to do some drills for scouts, teams will have to take a serious look into when to pick him. Lattimore would have been the first running back taken in next month's draft had he stayed healthy last season (or if the NFL didn't have the horrible three-year eligibility rule that forced Lattimore to stay in school another year even though he was ready). Lattimore has tremendous potential, and some team might gamble on a full return to health.
It's hard to say where Lattimore might go in the draft, considering he has a month left to heal and impress NFL teams. But that he is in this spot today, getting applause from NFL teams for his workout just five months after that injury, is pretty amazing. All college football fans should be rooting for him to complete this remarkable journey back.
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