The San Francisco 49ers announced Wednesday that RB Marcus Lattimore has informed the team he intends to retire.
"This was a very difficult decision for Marcus and it was clear after speaking with him that he had put a lot of thought into it," said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. "He is a high-character young man who has done everything asked of him and more during his time with us and we have a great deal of respect for the strength and commitment he showed throughout the rehab process. It has been a pleasure to have Marcus as a member of our team and our community and we are confident that he will be very successful in whichever path he chooses to take in life. We look forward to supporting Marcus and wish him nothing but the best."
"After prayer and careful consideration, I have decided it's time to end my professional football career," said Lattimore. "I have given my heart and soul to the game that I love, and it's time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life and help others. I have given every ounce of my energy toward making a full recovery from my knee injury, and I have made a lot of progress. Unfortunately, getting my knee fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable.
"I am grateful for the entire 49ers organization. Their decision to draft me was the realization of a lifelong dream to be an NFL player, and I cannot thank them enough for believing in me and for doing everything in their power to assist in my recovery. I will always be a 49er!
"Though I am proud of what I have accomplished throughout my football career, I am sincerely disappointed that it must end, but I trust that God has a great plan for my future. As for what's next, I will be returning to the University of South Carolina to complete my degree. I cannot say enough about the support from the Gamecock family since the first day I stepped on campus until now. I am so proud to be a part of the USC family, and I promise to always represent the garnet and black with honor and integrity. I will also continue to work with my foundation, the Marcus Lattimore Foundation / DREAMS, to provide opportunities and platforms to benefit youth sports programs in the state of South Carolina. I am looking forward to pursuing my personal interests and helping others achieve their goals and dreams.
"There are so many people who have supported me throughout my career; it is impossible to list them all and to show them the proper gratitude. I must thank God for all of His blessings and guidance. I would not be where I am today without the support of my family. I also appreciate the outpouring of support from friends, fans, opposing players and strangers; your support means more than you will ever know."
Lattimore (5-11, 221) was the second of the 49ers two fourth-round draft picks (131st overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of South Carolina. On August 27, 2013, he was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List, where he remained for the duration of the season. In 2014, he took part in the team's offseason program before being placed on the Reserve/NFI List on August 25, 2014.
A 23-year-old native of Duncan, SC, Lattimore holds the South Carolina school records for most rushing touchdowns (38) and total touchdowns (41). In 29 games (28 starts) over three seasons with the Gamecocks, he finished with 2,677 career-rushing yards and 555 carries to rank sixth and fourth, respectively, in school history. A three-time All-SEC selection, Lattimore was also named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2010 when he set the Gamecocks single-season touchdown record (17).