After being selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth-round (No. 131) of the 2013 NFL Draft, many people including myself had high expectations for RB Marcus Lattimore. Highly regarded as a top 10 pick had it not been for his multiple ACL injuries, Lattimore’s draft stock quickly spiraled as teams consistently passed on the SEC product. Now we know why. Aside from his injury plagued career, it seems like Lattimore has lost his passion for the game altogether and as a result decided to hang up his cleats and retire.
A player that received top notch treatment from the 49ers medical staff throughout his recovery, Lattimore has ultimately decided it was in his best interest to hang it up as Lattimore said:
“After prayer and careful consideration, I have decided it’s time to end my professional football career,” said Lattimore. “I have given my heart and soul to the game that I love, and it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life and help others. I have given every ounce of my energy toward making a full recovery from my knee injury, and I have made a lot of progress. Unfortunately, getting my knee fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable.
“I am grateful for the entire 49ers organization. Their decision to draft me was the realization of a lifelong dream to be an NFL player, and I cannot thank them enough for believing in me and for doing everything in their power to assist in my recovery. I will always be a 49er!
“Though I am proud of what I have accomplished throughout my football career, I am sincerely disappointed that it must end, but I trust that God has a great plan for my future. As for what’s next, I will be returning to the University of South Carolina to complete my degree. I cannot say enough about the support from the Gamecock family since the first day I stepped on campus until now. I am so proud to be a part of the USC family, and I promise to always represent the garnet and black with honor and integrity. I will also continue to work with my foundation, the Marcus Lattimore Foundation / DREAMS, to provide opportunities and platforms to benefit youth sports programs in the state of South Carolina. I am looking forward to pursuing my personal interests and helping others achieve their goals and dreams.
“There are so many people who have supported me throughout my career; it is impossible to list them all and to show them the proper gratitude. I must thank God for all of His blessings and guidance. I would not be where I am today without the support of my family. I also appreciate the outpouring of support from friends, fans, opposing players and strangers; your support means more than you will ever know.”
But why now you ask? Well considering that Lattimore took part in his first practice last Wednesday while then being a no-show the very next day, it was an odd string of events that had everyone wondering, what’s wrong with Lattimore?
To be honest, I was pulling for the kid. His inspirational story to come back from two career threatening injuries was an inspiration to all of us. However, his comeback has now ended and the 49ers will now have to move forward with the players they have which include RB Frank Gore, RB Carlos Hyde, and RB Kendall Gaskins (Practice Squad).