According to reports this afternoon, former South Carolina Gamecocks star Marcus Lattimore is healthy enough to participate in the school’s NFL Pro Day next week in Columbia. The Pro Day is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27th, and Lattimore has told press members that he will do some running and lift weights that day — but isn’t ready to sprint just yet.
Regardless, I would call it a miraculous recovery for a guy who many feared had played his last downs of football after suffering a gruesome knee injury in a game against the Tennessee Volunteers last October.
It appears as if the fabled Dr. James Andrews has worked his magic again, as Lattimore spent his recovery period at the Andrews Institute and Athletes performance facilities in Pensacola, Florida over the past few months and has seen a much faster than expected recovery. There’s certainly no lack of precedent for recovery from knee injuries — see first-tier NFL running backs like Adrian Peterson and Willis McGahee — but having seen Lattimore’s injury happen live, it’s impressive he’s back so quickly, and beyond that, able enough to perform to actually show scouts what he could offer to a team in the NFL next fall.
One thing is for sure, Marcus Lattimore has that intangible that is either there, or isn’t, and just can’t be taught:
Guys that endure adversity during their college careers — even when talent carries them through the good times — are so often those that succeed and take true control of their professional careers in the NFL.
I know one thing, if I had the need and the opportunity as an NFL GM, I certainly wouldn’t be passing on Marcus Lattimore during this year’s draft.