Ex-RB Marcus Lattimore joins South Carolina coaching staff

Former South Carolina star running back Marcus Lattimore, whose NFL career was derailed by two devastating knee injuries in college, has returned to his alma mater to be a part of Will Muschamp's staff.

"No one knows how to handle adversity and success as a Gamecock more than Marcus Lattimore," Muschamp told ESPN. "He could have gone anywhere in the country and decided to stay here. He positively affects everyone around him. He has an infectious attitude and personality and is a first-class individual. He'll be a tremendous asset to our organization."

Lattimore, who had previously been the head coach at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, will serve as the Gamecocks' director of player development for life skills, Muschamp said. He will educate South Carolina's players during their offseason Beyond Football program, which focuses on career development, addiction, financial responsibility and dating/relationships.

He's scheduled to be officially introduced later this week.

"It is a pretty full-circle moment to be able to go back to my university and help them," Lattimore told WACH Fox 57 in Columbia, South Carolina. "I'm really, really excited about it because I know the trajectory we are on as far as the football program goes."

Lattimore's final two seasons at South Carolina (2011 and 2012) were disrupted by knee injuries, but he still set school records with 41 total touchdowns and 38 rushing touchdowns in his career.

He finished his injury-shortened career with 2,677 rushing yards in just 29 games. As a freshman, Lattimore rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns and was a part of three teams that either played in the SEC championship game or finished in the top 10 nationally.

Lattimore was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the San Francisco 49ers, but after spending that season on the non-football injury list, he retired in 2014 having never played a down in the NFL.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.