Four years after leaving South Carolina to join the NFL, Marcus Lattimore has returned to Columbia to pursue another dream: Earn a college diploma.
Lattimore, who played two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers before a pair of knee injuries ended his career, has returned to campus to finish his degree in Public Health. The former running back is set to graduate May 6, as reported by the Greenville News’ Willie T. Smith III.
“This is a proud day,” Lattimore told Smith while donning his cap and gown at South Carolina’s Ring Day ceremony. “Sitting through the ring ceremony watching everybody reading all their accomplishments and then you hear your name.
“May 6, at 3 p.m. I graduate from college. Not a lot of people do that, especially in my family. Words can’t really describe — it’s going to be a proud day. It really is. It ranks up there really high.”
Lattimore recently tried to take an official position with the Gamecocks as an advisor to the players, but the NCAA ruled he couldn’t accept the job, citing it would create an unfair recruiting advantage because of the work he does with youth football camps and The Marcus Lattimore Foundation.
While Lattimore was disappointed by the NCAA’s decision, he knows a degree will open up a lot of doors for him in the future.
“Whatever doors open, whatever I find interesting — I’m going to put myself into so many different situations that I know I’m going to find another passion,” he said. “I’m going to mentor. I’m going to shadow. I’m going to be around all different kinds of businesses because that’s what I want to do.”