October 27, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore (21) runs for a touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Lattimore: I'll Be Ready For 2013 NFL Season

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Many considered South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore to be the highest ranked running back in the upcoming NFL Draft. However, a gruesome injury, along the lines of Willis McGahee’s in the National Championship game roughly a decade ago, sidelined the young star for the rest of the season.

Well just like McGahee, Lattimore vows to return and play in the NFL and fulfill his dream. McGahee even was drafted in the first round by the Buffalo Bills, something Lattimore could still hope for. And the Bills’ faith was rewarded, in 3 seasons with the Bills he rushed for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns.

While he can’t play in the Senior Bowl, Lattimore is still working the crowd like a politician, talking to NFL teams and shaking hands. Trying to gain their trust and faith, and quite possibly get one of them to believe in him.

“I believe in myself,” Lattimore told “NFL AM. “Dr. (James) Andrews actually said, ‘You’re going to shock the world,’ so I quoted him. And I really do believe I’ll be ready. I’m going at a rate that I knew I could, and I feel great. When I start jogging and I get a little bit stronger, I know it’s game on then.”

The comparison to McGahee might prove him right, McGahee has rushed for over 8,000 yards in his 9 seasons. A definite success and accomplishment after his knee injury. But Adrian Peterson has given teams reason to not forget Lattimore. After coming off surgery to replace a torn ACL in his knee, Peterson ran for over 2,000 yards and almost beat Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record falling short by less than 10 yards.

“Ah, man. (Peterson) is unreal,” Lattimore said. “What he did this year will probably never be done again. He got 2,000 yards coming off an ACL/MCL injury. I mean, that’s unbelievable. That’s definitely motivation for me knowing that he did it. That is what I’m trying to do.”

 

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