Marcus Lattimore wants to play in the NFL in 2013

JD Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

As South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore rehabs his knee, he impressing everyone with his work ethic and progress.

South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore still intends to play in the NFL in 2013 after tearing three ligaments in his right knee in late October. Lattimore, who has been vocal and positive throughout his rehab, is making great progress that he plans to show NFL doctors at the upcoming NFL Combine. Jeff Darlington of NFL.com visited Lattimore at his rehab center and found that the running back was making believers out of everyone.

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Lattimore's physical therapist Stephen LaPlante has been impressed with Lattimore's recovery and his personality, a combination which helps motivate others in their recovery. LaPlante said, "he's one of the best guys I've ever worked with as far as work ethic." Lattimore is still limited to running in a pool and various strengthening exercises, but LaPlante gives Lattimore a strong review:

"The swelling is minimal to none. His muscle strength is excellent. His gait is perfect. So he's definitely on the right track."

For his part Lattimore is nothing but confident in his return, saying "I feel like I'm destined for this. I'm not worried about anything. I know I'm going to come back and be great." His goal right now is to be ready for South Carolina's pro day on March 27. While that might be optimistic, Lattimore truly believes he can play in 2013:

"Man, I honestly feel like I can play this year. I know my body. I know if I'm progressing the way I am, I'll be ready to play. I won't have to sit out a year."

He isn't the only one who thinks so either. One of his training partners, is Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who said of Lattimore: "He's going to be awesome."

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