Former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore is returning to USC to finish up school and serve as an ambassador to the Gamecocks' football program, David Cloninger of GoGamecocks.com reported Monday.
Lattimore, 23, was a decorated running back for the Gamecocks and a fourth-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, but he elected to retire in November after struggling to overcome the gruesome knee injury he suffered in college.
In a 2012 game, Lattimore tore every ligament in his right knee and also dislocated the kneecap. The 49ers placed him on the non-football injury list and Lattimore intended to make his debut this season, but was unable to do so.
Lattimore will instead re-enroll at South Carolina in January and work toward completing his degree in public health. He told GoGamecocks.com that he hopes to be done with the degree by January 2016, and that he will take a position as an ambassador for the football program, though an official title has yet to be determined.
“There’s been some back-and-forth,” he said. “I’ll most likely work with the university, coach (Ray) Tanner, president (Harris) Pastides, coach (Steve) Spurrier, whatever they need me to do. No official title that we have talked about yet, but we’re trying to get something nailed down.”
After Lattimore's retirement, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said he would always have a place at the university.
"If he wants to come back and work at the University of South Carolina, certainly the president, athletics director or myself -- whatever we could find job-wise for him here, we would certainly do that," Spurrier said on an SEC coaches teleconference in November. “Between the three of us, we’ll find something for him to help out here to help out not only football, but all athletes. I think his knee has not come around quite as well as he’d hope."
- Mike Fiammetta