South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said on the SEC coaches teleconference that former San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore will always have a place at the university and that the administration will do everything they can to help him out.
Lattimore, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, announced his decision to retire from the NFL after not being able to recover from two knee surgeries suffered while in college. On Wednesday, he released a statement that said, “getting my knee fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable.”
He never saw action in the NFL after spending his entire rookie season on the non-football injury list.
Lattimore rushed for 2,677 yards and 38 touchdowns in his three seasons at South Carolina before leaving after his junior season for the NFL.
Spurrier said that either he, athletic director Ray Tanner or university president Harris Pastides could help Lattimore with his transition to life after football. Lattimore said he will be returning to school to complete his degree in public health.
"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 the SEC coaches teleconference this week. “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."
Spurrier cited another former South Carolina player who had to retire from the NFL early in his career because of an injury. Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeVonte Holloman had to retire because of neck problems and is now one of the team's graduate assistants.
- Scooby Axson