If you don’t know who Maurice Clarett or his fascinating story, you’re in for a treat. He is one of the rare stories in which someone has it all, loses it horrifically and then is able to rebuild his creditability and image in the public eye.
Clarett first burst onto the public scene as he transferred from Austintown-Fitch High School to Warren G. Harding High School, and began to get national attention. Clarett was a bruising running back who no defenders wanted to step in front of. After a solid high school career, he was ranked among the nation’s best players and was actually named the USA Today Offensive High School Player of the Year. He received offers from a number of different schools, but ultimately decided to commit to become a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes over a lot of other teams such as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the University of Miami Hurricanes.
Right from his first game as a Buckeye, Clarett had a notable impact on the field and his season will likely go down as one of the best by a true freshman ever. Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards (a freshman school record) and scored 18 touchdowns and helped to lead the Buckeyes to a 14-0 record and a trip to the 2002 National Championship, in which they won. By this point, he was getting a HUGE amount of attention from all over the country. He then made even more headlines as he wanted to declare for the 2004 NFL draft. The controversy arose because a player at that point had to play for three years in college to be eligible, and he had only played two.
But, despite all of this glory, fame and attention, his time at Ohio State was marred with even more controversy and various types of troubles. The ranged from heated yelling matches with coaches, publically criticizing the school and various scandals in which he received special benefits and preferential treatment throughout his time at the school. He was eventually dismissed from the school and moved to Los Angeles to be able to get better training ahead of the 2005 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Los Angeles is where he first got involved with drugs and alcohol.
In a shock to every expert out there, Clarett was actually drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos in 2005. However, he was very underwhelming, came in super overweight and just wasn’t impressive and was released before playing a game. After his release he spun even further out of control and after numerous arrests for armed robbery and engaging in a police chase, he was sentenced to serve three and a half years in prison. It was here that Clarett made up his mind to turn his life around once again, this time for the better.
While in prison, Clarett read a variety of books on a ton of different topics to develop his mind, and following his release, he was a changed man and become a much sought after motivational speaker and a successful entrepreneur. This has helped him repair his reputation and should inspire anyone to know that no matter how rough or bad your life was for a period, or what type of predicament you were in, you can always turn it around.