In October, South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore suffered an awful injury to his knee during a game against Tennessee. The injury cost him the rest of the season and will likely force him to have to start his NFL career on the physically unable to perform list. The injury will also cost Lattimore a bunch of money.
Why? Because Lattimore could have joined the 2012 NFL Draft if the NFL had different rules when it comes to who can enter the draft. Currently, the NFL requires college players to be out of high school for at least three years before they can enter the draft. Because last season
Lattimore had only been out of high school for two years, he had to go back to South Carolina for at least one more season. Now, because of that rule, instead of possibly being the number one running back selected, Lattimore will probably be a later round pick.
The NFL’s rule on who can enter the draft might effect another South Carolina prospect, Jadeveon Clowney too. Because Clowney has only been out of high school for two years, he will be playing in South Carolina next season, despite the fact that he could have been considered the number one draft pick this April.
While talking to NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington, Marcus Lattimore says he is cool with the NFL’s rules on who can enter the draft.
“I feel like it’s more of a maturity thing, as far as waiting three years,” Lattimore said. “I feel like it’s fair, I really do. I feel like three years is the right thing to do.
“It’s a matter of maturing, getting stronger. If you leave after your second year, you’re 19 years old playing against 30 year olds.”
Lattimore also said he feels as though Clowney feels the same way about the rule.
“He’s a great player,” Lattimore said. “He’s going to be the No. 1 pick overall. But he’s a guy that, he can’t sit out a year. That’s what kind of person he is. I mean, he’s not going to miss a year of football.”
If Clowney gets injured next year, he might not be quite as cool with the rule as Lattimore is right now.