VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Niners RB Lattimore ready to run

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Marcus Lattimore feels close to 100 percent and is counting down the days until he can run free and easy for the San Francisco 49ers.

The former South Carolina tailback is back in his home state speaking to church groups and running youth clinics and camps. And through it all, he's got April 21st circled in red - that's when the 49ers open workouts and Lattimore has the green light to run as he did in 2012 before the second of two devastating knee injuries during college.

''The left knee, it feels like nothing ever happened,'' Lattimore told The Associated Press by phone. ''The right knee, it feels great. Both feel balanced. I've got my speed and I rarely get any soreness'' after workouts.

For Lattimore, that's major progress after facing questions following his injuries while at South Carolina. He was one of the Southeastern Conference's rushing leaders in 2011 when he tore ligaments in his right knee in a game at Mississippi State and missed the Gamecocks' final six games.

After surgery and a furious rehab regimen and saw him return to the practice field a month ahead of schedule, Lattimore was ready for his junior season. That ended in October against Tennessee when he got hit on his left knee, again needing surgery to repair ligament damage.

Lattimore again worked to rehab, not only to get back on the field but to prove to NFL teams he was worth drafting. The 49ers agreed and selected Lattimore in the fourth round last spring and told him not worry about rushing back to play last season.

It wasn't easy, but Lattimore understood the patient approach would prove fruitful down the road.

''I was just so grateful they believed in what I could do,'' Lattimore said.

Lattimore held a youth football clinic in Charleston this past Saturday and has similar sessions planned for Greenville and Columbia the next few months. Lattimore's kept a high profile in South Carolina since heading to the West Coast as a spokesman for several organizations, including a commercial for the South Carolina Education Lottery about playing responsibly.

These days, he's promoting South Carolina's First Choice Fit Adolescent Well Visit campaign, which stresses the importance of proper nutrition, exercise and building a relationship with a primary care physician among adolescent first choice Medicaid plan members statewide.

Lattimore said he learned through his injuries about not cutting corners with your health and believes young people who follow that advice will see the benefits throughout their lives.

Dr. Marion Burton, medical director for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, says the group couldn't have a more well-respected representative than Lattimore. Many health professionals and administrators don't have a way to communicate with adolescents, but ''Marcus sure does,'' Dr. Burton said.

Lattimore said it wasn't easy watching from the sidelines while his San Francisco teammates were playing. He bonded the strongest, he says, with other injured players in similar rehab situations. Lattimore says he poured himself into learning coach Jim Harbaugh's playbook so he'd be as prepared as possible for workouts. ''Man, it's thick,'' he joked.

He's spent time with 49ers running back Frank Gore, who returned from college injury to become a five-time Pro Bowl selection in San Francisco. Lattimore says Gore has provided a strong example of how to handle oneself as a pro.

Lattimore was nervous about moving so far away from home and small-town life, but his family came out frequently and he learned that San Francisco had its positives, too. ''This is a very healthy place,'' Lattimore says. ''People like to eat right and do lots of things to keep fit.''

Lattimore believes for him that's going full speed so he can contribute to the 49ers quest of getting back to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens after the 2012 season. He says he tells himself all the time to remain patient when he's back in action. ''I can't go out there and be Superman the first day,'' he says. ''Once I get back in the groove and take a few hits, I'll be OK.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Jets and Colts swap No. 1 draft picks
Report: WR Pryor visits Seahawks
RB Woodhead announces retirement
Colts release DT Johnathan Hankins
Patriots sign S Chung to extension
Cowboys to release CB Scandrick
Bengals sign QB Barkley to 2-year deal
WR Brown agrees to deal with Seahawks
Chargers sign K Sturgis to two-year deal
Why Buy Picks From
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 2145
Gary Bart + 1530
Paul Bovi + 1386
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 200
Hank Goldberg + 200
Bill Marzano + 191
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Zack Cimini 62 %
Pat Hawkins 59 %
KellyInVegas 59 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1557
Scott Rickenbach + 1469
Paul Bovi + 987
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 668
Stephen Nover + 563
Vince Akins + 532
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 531
Jimmy Boyd + 420
Dave Cokin + 400
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership