Marcus Lattimore to take shot at the NFL

After suffering serious knee injuries in each of the past two seasons, South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore isn't going to take any more chances in college football.

Lattimore plans to enter the NFL draft, ESPN's Joe Schad reported on Monday.

At this point in his career, having undergone surgeries to repair torn ligaments in both knees, Lattimore didn't have any easy options. It would have been a gamble to stay in school for another year. It's also a gamble to declare for the NFL draft when he's not going to be 100 percent.

There's a pretty good chance that he will have to miss all, or at least some, of the 2013 season, and the team that drafts him will have to project what kind of player Lattimore will be post-multiple knee surgeries.

Lattimore will do everything humanly possible to get his knee back to strength. That's just the kind of fighter he is and the kind of competitor he is.

Will he ever return to the same form that made him one of college football's most complete running backs? That's impossible to know at this point, but knowing what I do about Lattimore, I sure wouldn't bet against him.

I still say that nobody in college football got the tough yards better than Lattimore, and that's a quality that should make him a commodity in the NFL once he returns to health.