Troubled former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett has agreed to a one year deal with the Ohama Nighthawks of the United Football League. The former college standout was recently released from prison where he served a four and a half year sentence for armed robbery outside of a popular Columbus pub hangout. And Clarett received permission to attend a tryout over the weekend for the second tier squad.
And although this is a positive story in the sense that Clarett will be given a second chance to play the sport that he loved growing up, I think it also has to be considered a publicity stunt by the UFL organization to try to get some people to tune into the squad this upcoming season. If Clarett was in horrible shape five years ago when he tried out for the Denver Broncos as a third round pick then I can’t imagine he is in even better shape now that he was just recently released from prison.
And plenty of people will claim that going to prison probably means that he will be in fantastic shape considering the running back had nothing else to do while serving his time other then lifting weights, but in reality a professional athlete needs an excellent weight room and experienced trainer to truly perform at an NFL caliber level. Jamal Lewis’ numbers significantly dropped after his six month term in prison following his intent to distribute cocaine charges and the former 2,000 yard Ravens running back quickly became a part time back for the lowly Cleveland Browns. And I’d expect that Clarett will be in even worse shape considering the amount of time he spent in the pokie and the fact that he wasn’t known for his hard work ethic before his sentence occurred.
But regardless of his current conditioning state, Clarett will have the second chance to prove all the critics wrong and become an NFL player once again. And considering his prior criminal activities away from the field let’s hope for the sake of humanity that it works out for the former Freshman All American.
And let’s also hope that Maurice won’t be “getting his Goose On” at practice anymore as he once did in Denver.
photo credit: geocam20000