COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Injured South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore is finished with college football. How long it takes the Gamecocks junior to make his NFL debut is anyone's guess.
Lattimore announced Wednesday he was giving up his final season to apply for entry into the NFL draft. He was considered a can't-miss, first-round talent after his first two seasons. However, a horrifying right knee injury in October has dropped his draft stock and it is unclear when Lattimore might return to action.
Lattimore dislocated his knee and damaged three of four ligaments when he was tackled against Tennessee. Doctors say surgery on his knee was successful and Lattimore easily walked into his first gathering with media since the injury.
He came into this season off ligament surgery to his left knee, an injury that cost him the final six games of the 2011 season.
Despite his injuries, Lattimore said, "I wouldn't change a thing."
He and Dr. Jeffrey Guy said it would take 12-to-15 months to recover, meaning it is unlikely Lattimore would play anywhere during the 2013 season. Guy, among the team that operated on Lattimore, said Lattimore's prognosis for full recovery was good.
Lattimore finished his career as the Gamecocks' all-time leader with 41 overall touchdowns and 38 rushing scores in 29 games.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press