There may not be a single player with more people rooting for him than San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore who sat out his rookie year with the team after after suffering a gruesome knee injury in his junior season with the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The injury in 2012 was the second season-ending knee injury Lattimore endured at South Carolina after he tore his ACL against the Mississippi State Bulldogs as a sophomore, but Lattimore appears poised to finally get back on the football field when the 49ers begin organized team activities in April.
“The left knee, it feels like nothing ever happened,”Lattimore tells the Associated Press. “The right knee, it feels great. Both feel balanced. I’ve got my speed and I rarely get any soreness.”
This is music to the ears of 49ers and Gamecocks fans who hope to see Lattimore make a big mark in the NFL after seeing his once-bright NFL future become awfully dark after the back-t0-back knee injuries robbed the football world of watching him run.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh is hopeful Lattimore has what it takes to regain the form he displayed prior to the injuries and compete with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James to back up starting running back Frank Gore who will be a free agent after the season.
A strong season by Lattimore could mean the team lets Gore walk and put him in position to be the team’s starting running back in 2015 and beyond.