Marcus Lattimore: A Sad Story of What Might Have Been

Running back Marcus Lattimore demonstrated insane talent, speed, and ability while playing for the South Carolina Gamecocks. He rushed for 38 touchdowns in his three seasons at the school, and was regarded as a sure-fire first-round pick who was sure to dominate in the NFL. However, repeated knee injuries derailed his pro career before it even began, causing him to retire at the age of 23.

Marcus Lattimore: A Highly Touted Recruit Makes Noise in College

Lattimore had a phenomenal high school career, earning high school All-American and South Carolina “Mr. Football” honors. He chose to stay home for college, picking South Carolina over Auburn. Once he stepped onto the field for the Gamecocks as a freshman, he immediately made an impact. He made first-team SEC in his freshman year, and was also named second-team All-American. His career continued to progress into his sophomore season, until a October 15th game against Mississippi State. Lattimore’s knee was badly injured, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. After surgery and extensive physical therapy, he was able to return the next year. In his first game back, he rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, showing the world that he was fully recovered from his injury. However, the unthinkable happened during a game against Tennessee later in the season- Lattimore tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL and was once again forced to miss the entire season. He was treated to a standing ovation as well as kind words by both teams as he was carted off the field. The state of his football career from then on was shrouded in uncertainty.

A Professional Career That Never Was

Despite Lattimore’s repeated knee injuries, the San Francisco 49ers still drafted him in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. The pick was seen as risky, but with a potentially big payoff if Lattimore could ever get healthy. He signed a four-year contract for 2.4 million, yet only lasted four months before being placed on the injured reserve list. Finally, it was evident that Lattimore’s injuries had finally caught up with him, and he announced his retirement from football on November 5th, 2014. Football fans will have to wonder what might have been- his talent was so immense that he clearly would have had a major impact in the NFL had he been able to stay healthy.

This injury made it onto our worst sports injuries video database! Check out the rest of the entries here, and see how many you can get through without cringing!

Physical therapy can help you recover and thrive. The Long Island physical therapists at Baxter and Walsh specialize in helping athletes of all skill levels recover from their sports injuries. Visit one of our two locations or contact us on our website for more information.

See more of The Most Cringe-Worthy Sports Injuries of All Time

Sports Injuries