Marcus Lattimore is optimistic about 2013

After seeing Marcus Lattimore squirm and claw in pain last October, it left many people wondering if he'd ever be back on a football field again.

This wasn't your normal knee injury. His right knee was dislocated and several ligaments were torn. For an instant, it didn't even look like Lattimore's knee was attached to the rest of his leg.

But what looked like a career-threatening injury could be just another bump in Lattimore's football career, as he told members of the media at Senior Bowl practice on Tuesday that he is more optimistic about the chance of playing football in 2013. After it seemed like it would take well over a year for Lattimore to come back, he's thinking about trotting out onto the football field as early as the 2013 season. Lattimore opted to leave South Carolina early and make the jump to the NFL.

Lattimore told reporters that Dr. James Andrews told him that his progress is "nothing short of a miracle" and that he's "way ahead of schedule" as far as his rehab goes.

"When Dr. Andrews came in to see me, he said, 'You're doing remarkable; you're doing everything you can,'" Lattimore said. "His words were, 'You're going to shock the world.' That's what Dr. Andrews said."

It doesn't matter what school you root for or what color scheme you wear each Saturday, you're cheering for Lattimore to have a speedy recovery. It was as if the college football world stopped when he went down with that devastating knee injury against Tennessee on Oct. 27. Players huddled around him and fans from all over delivered their support. He's not only an excellent player but he's an excellent person.

He might have run over people during his time in Columbia, but he never ran his mouth about it and commanded the utmost respect from his counterparts. Lattimore has the talent to be an every-down back in the NFL and could be very fun to watch if he gets back to 100 percent. Remember, he entered the 2012 season with first-round status before his injury.

No one knows if Lattimore will ever be the same player he was before he suffered his first knee injury halfway through the 2011 season, but you know he's going to work as hard as he can to get back to where he once was.

"I feel like 80 percent of it is mental," Lattimore said. "If you don't do your rehab, if you keep asking yourself, 'Why me?' your knee reacts to that. You have to stay positive, or you're not going to come back."

Here's hoping his knee responds the same way he has.

Deke Adams added to staff

Steve Spurrier didn't waste any time filling the vacancy he had on his coaching staff after defensive line coach Brad Lawing left for Florida. On Tuesday, Spurrier announced the hiring of new defensive line coach Deke Adams, who coach North Carolina's defensive line in 2012.

"We are thrilled to have Deke Adams come in as our defensive line coach," Spurrier said in a statement. "Several of our coaches are very familiar with Deke, having coached with him previously. He has an excellent track record both as a player and as an assistant coach. He has a lot of experience coaching the defensive line, and in recruiting the state of North Carolina and other parts of the South. He and his family will be an excellent addition to our coaching staff."

Before coaching at North Carolina, Adams served as Southern Miss' defensive line coach the three previous seasons.

"I'm excited about getting to Columbia and the opportunity to coach with Coach Spurrier and Coach (Lorenzo) Ward," Adams said in a statement. "I've known about South Carolina for a long time and it's a great opportunity for me and my family."