Marcus Lattimore, whose NFL career ended after just a year when he retired at 23, finally may be on his true career path as he leaves school again.

The former Gamecocks running back graduated from South Carolina on Friday and announced he landed his first coaching job, as an assistant at a local prep school.

It was the culmination of a difficult journey for Lattimore, who starred in the SEC until he suffered a second severe knee injury in 2012. He declared for the draft and was selected in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers, but he was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list before his first season even started and never made it off the list.

Lattimore retired a year later without playing a single down in the NFL. He vowed to return to South Carolina to finish his degree in public health and pursue a career "helping others achieve their goals and dreams."

His former coach Steve Spurrier said there would always be a position for Lattimore at South Carolina, and Lattimore announced in December that he'd be joining new coach Will Muschamp's staff as a player advisor after graduating. However, because of Lattimore's work with his youth foundation, the NCAA ruled that hiring him would give South Carolina an unfair recruiting advantage, so he had to forgo the job.

On Friday, Lattimore announced he'd been hired to coach the B-team at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and serve as an assistant with the varsity team.

"First, I want to thank Jeff Whalen, his staff, and Heathwood Hall Episcopal School for welcoming me with open arms. This has been an easy process, and I'm excited to get to work with this team and this great staff," Lattimore said in a statement.

"I was fortunate enough to play this game for 16 years, and have been around great coaches who were teachers of the game. I always focused on the fundamentals, which will be my focus every day working with our players, particularly our running backs. Together, we'll work to help our student-athletes improve both on and off the field."