Marcus Lattimore: Why There Is Still Hope for Injury-Prone RB in NFL

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 10, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 06:  Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks warms up prior to facing the Georgia Bulldogs at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

You only have to look at Frank Gore, Willis McGahee and Eddie George to know that you can still go on to a successful career in the NFL despite enduring significant injuries in college.

In fact, South Carolina junior Marcus Lattimore recently consulted with these three running backs before declaring for the NFL draft, according to ESPN.

Lattimore seriously injured his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his right knee on Oct. 27 against Tennessee after missing half of the 2011 season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

But his determination, which saw him come back this year despite the injury in 2011, is a key reason there is still hope for him to make a major impact in the pros.

Gore was selected in the third round of the 2005 draft after tearing the ACL in his left knee during his second season at Miami in 2002. That third-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers turned out to be a steal, given Gore has rushed for over 8,600 yards and racked up over 2,500 receiving yards since 2005, making the Pro Bowl three times in the process.

Players like Lattimore don't just go away, never to be heard from again. There are some players you can identify as having that extra something. These are the players who go beyond expectations, and who care about the game more than the glory.

Every great player throughout sports history has one thing in common: an undeniable thirst to be the best.

The going will be slow at first for Lattimore (he will probably have to sit out his rookie season in the NFL), but who here questions his desire? How shocking was it that he came back from the 2011 injury so well?

Lattimore will undoubtedly experience some more ups and downs throughout his NFL career, but don't sleep on the talented running back from South Carolina.

Make no mistake about it, he will emerge again from hardship.

Follow <span class=