San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore released the following statement today after officially announcing his retirement from football.

We wish Lattimore the best in his future endeavors.

After prayer and careful consideration, I have decided it's time to end my professional football career. 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.