When it happened, he was one of the biggest stories in all of college football, but there was doubt whether he’d ever play again.
Marcus Lattimore suffered a gruesome injury two seasons ago, and would need a second major reconstruction of his knee. He had been projected to be one of the top running backs in the 2013 NFL draft, but after the injury, ended up as the 131st overall selection for the San Francisco 49ers.
With a long rehab now completed, Lattimore says he wants to get back to football. He might even go up to 49ers coach Jim Harbuagh to ask for playing time.
“If he wants to put me in, he’ll put me in,” Lattimore said, according to GoGamecocks.com. “If I prove it in practice, I don’t think there’s no excuse why I can’t play. I’m ready.”
One reason Lattimore could potentially see some playing time? The 49ers could be looking to reshuffle their running back rotation, and are reportedly shopping LaMichael James.
“If that happens, it does put me in that No. 3 spot,” Lattimore said. “But I’ve just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I’ve got to show that.”
San Francisco still has Frank Gore as its starter and Kendall Hunter as the backup. Given some space in the depth chart, however, Lattimore could earn spot duty next season as a change-of-pace back.
But after everything Lattimore has been through, he’s simply appreciative of the opportunity to compete.
“After my injury, I just wanted to walk again,” Lattimore said. “It was tough, very tough. We’re a playoff team, so we play 20-plus games. Being on that sideline, we got so close to the Super Bowl title the last three years.
“But I’m blessed to be in this situation. Never would have thought in a million years I’d be in this situation."