South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore (21) runs for a first down during the first half against Georgia. The youngsters are taking over in Southeastern Conference backfields. Across the league, young or previously unknown backs helped carry their teams to victories last weekend, including Auburn's Michael Dyer.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Marcus Lattimore believes his knee injury was a test he had to pass, both for himself and South Carolina.
The junior running back was hurt while blocking at Mississippi State last October and missed the final six games of his team's landmark 11-2 season. He had offseason surgery to repair his ACL, then worked for months to make it back on the field.
Lattimore acknowledges there were several times he wanted to give up after the injury, worried he'd never again be one of the Southeastern Conference's top rushers. Instead, Lattimore called on teammates, coaches, family and other players who've faced the same injury, like Pittsburgh Panthers tailback Ray Graham and New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper.
Lattimore says he's 100 percent ready to go entering South Carolina's season.