Marcus Lattimore says he’d be ready for NFL opener

Marcus Lattimore during South Carolina's pro day in March. (Mary Ann Chastain / AP) Marcus Lattimore during South Carolina’s pro day in March. (Mary Ann Chastain / AP)

It would be a feel-good moment in the NFL draft, but Marcus Lattimore isn’t counting on hearing his name called at any point this weekend.

The former South Carolina running back had been projected as a first-round pick, but that was before he tore his anterior, lateral and posterior cruciate ligaments last October, ending his season prematurely for the third time in as many years. He has been rehabbing in Florida and says he’d be ready for the first week of the season — if a team takes him.

“I feel like, personally, I need three more months before I put some pads on,” Lattimore said, via USA Today Sports, during a promotional trip to New York. “I know my body. I know when I’ll be ready to play. It takes time I know, but at the beginning at the season, I feel like I should be ready to go.”

Lattimore says he has drawn interest from the St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers, but he won’t be among those attending the draft. In fact, he might not even watch, since he has no idea where — or if — he’ll be picked. And if he isn’t?

“If that happens,” he said. “I’m going to find a team and I’m going to get to work.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · April 23, 2013