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Monday, May 6, 2013

Marcus Lattimore: 49ers Investing in the future

After suffering two major season ending knee injuries in back-to-back seasons at South Carolina, Running Back Marcus Lattimore took the risk and declared for the 2013 draft. Many predicted Lattimore to be a first round lock before his second knee injury after suffered on Oct. 27, 2012, in which he dislocated his knee and tore three ligaments. This injury and the long road to recovery, persuaded many NFL teams to pass on Lattimore, who seen his stock fall, while adding another scar to a 2nd knee. Once considered the top Running Back in the nation, Marcus Lattimore was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 131st overall pick (4th Round). Despite Lattimore's injury history, the 49ers set focus on the future, and what skill set Lattimore has proven to possess on the field. When healthy he is a hard runner, with great instincts, control and vision. Lattimore is known to follow his blockers and shed tacklers, always falling forward, but also is agile enough to make you miss and accelerates very well off cuts. Giving Lattimore a great first step, the type of explosiveness needed to succeed against NFL defenses.

  Many will question the recovery from two major knee injuries, and whether he will ever be the same. With advances in technology and science, many NFL players have shown quicker then ever recoveries from injuries that were once thought of as "career ending." This includes the tearing of knee ligaments, including the once dreaded ACL tear. Whether it be ACL, MCL, or even PCL; the recovery has been sped up due to advances in western medicine. Adrian Peterson can provide you with the evidence of this on a more recent note. The leagues MVP, Adrian Peterson ran for 2,097 yards just 8 months after suffering ACL and MCL years, Peterson came within 9 yards of Eric Dickerson's all time single season rushing record.

   Recent rumors link Lattimore's recovery with RG111's as both are recovering in the same facility in Florida. Lattimore possesses the drive to recover healthy, whole, and strong, just as Frank Gore did when he suffered two knee injuries at the University of Miami. Gore also slipped in the draft because of injuries, and was also selected by the San Francisco 49ers. Now One of Gore's understudies, Lattimore has the opportunity not only to make a full recovery, he also has the luxury to learn from one of the best in the league, Frank Gore, someone who has already walked the walk down the long road of recovery and shown success afterwards. Lattimore eventually figures to add to the depth in the Niner backfield, hoping to one day replace the 49ers all time leading rusher Frank Gore. Marcus Lattimore, has a lot to work forward to, and at 21, the 49ers believe in their long term investment, and are willing to wait it out and let the kid heal. For now both Lattimore and the 49er organization know his contributions can only come one step at a time.

-Rob Lara

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