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Maurice Clarett wants to be a rugby Olympian

Maurice Clarett AP

Maurice Clarett was a bust in the NFL, first failing in his attempt to sue the league for early entry into the draft, then failing in his attempt to make the Broncos’ roster a year later. But he’s hoping things work out differently in a new sport.

The 29-year-old Clarett is taking up a new sport, rugby, with a goal of making the U.S. national team that will compete for a 2016 Olympic berth. Clarett has been talking up his rugby training on Twitter, and Paul Holmes, the director of the Tiger Rugby Olympic Development Program, says Clarett seems genuinely dedicated to the sport.

He’s committed to try to make Rio 2016,” Holmes told Rugby Magazine. “That’s Maurice’s plan.”

One of the reasons the United States doesn’t fare well in international rugby competitions is that if you’re the type of athlete who would make a great rugby player and you grew up in the United States, you were probably steered toward football, not rugby. So Holmes is excited to have an athlete on his hands who was good enough to be a third-round draft pick as an NFL running back.

“He’s ridiculous. That’s all I can say,” Holmes said of Clarett. “His footwork is phenomenal. He’s nowhere near conditioned for rugby, but that will come. . . . The stuff he’s doing in the gym right now, he’s just ridiculous.”

After so much of Clarett’s career has been described as “ridiculous” in a bad way, it’s encouraging to hear him described, for once, as “ridiculous” in a good way.

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36 Responses to “Maurice Clarett wants to be a rugby Olympian”
  1. tannethrill says: Mar 22, 2013 9:04 AM

    Who’s Maurice Clarett? Who cares?

  2. dexterismyhero says: Mar 22, 2013 9:05 AM

    Get your Goose on Mo……………….

  3. fuglyflorio says: Mar 22, 2013 9:08 AM

    And we care because … ?

  4. patriots420 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:10 AM

    This story was a nice compliment for my wake n’ bake thanks MDS

  5. trollhammer20 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:11 AM

    This move makes the US a sure-fire contender for ninth place, behind New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, Wales, Scotland, France, and Argentina.

  6. kluuuuuuuuug says: Mar 22, 2013 9:16 AM

    Good for him. Looks a lot better than the last photos I’d seen of him. Would be a great story and draw a lot of attention Stateside if the US could make it.

  7. cardiovascularendurance says: Mar 22, 2013 9:17 AM

    Good luck to him! It’d be pretty awesome if he’s able to accomplish this.

  8. pacificnw7722 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:18 AM

    Maybe Ochostinko can play with him?

  9. wtfchiefs says: Mar 22, 2013 9:22 AM

    Good for him. Good luck.

  10. spunjmunke says: Mar 22, 2013 9:26 AM

    This guy had all the talent in the world, and then urinated on it with his stupidity and greed.

  11. schochnation says: Mar 22, 2013 9:27 AM

    Can you use guns in rugby?

  12. mtheparrothead says: Mar 22, 2013 9:28 AM

    And Ohio wants to not be a crap hole, but we don’t always get our wish.

  13. paleandpasty says: Mar 22, 2013 9:30 AM

    Good for him. USA, USA, USA……..

  14. killface4prez says: Mar 22, 2013 9:36 AM

    Doesn’t this really belong on your sister blog, amateurrugbytalk.com?

  15. wallio says: Mar 22, 2013 9:36 AM

    Didn’t know we had a national rugby team. Not even trolling, I really didn’t. That’s pretty cool.

  16. dennisatunity says: Mar 22, 2013 9:40 AM

    Good for him. He made some mistakes but then haven’t we all? I hope this is a fresh start for him and that he makes himself and the USA very successful.

  17. steelerben says: Mar 22, 2013 9:42 AM

    From the “Who Cares?” file…

  18. mackie66 says: Mar 22, 2013 9:46 AM

    Welcome to PFhasbeenTalk. I had to reach back in the memory banks to remember who this guy was.

  19. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 22, 2013 10:00 AM

    Because of course he does.

  20. wryly1 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:04 AM

    Clarett is a wannabe. Wannabe pro football player; wannabe gangsta – and now wannabe international rugby player.

  21. acdc84 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:04 AM

    I thought he was in prison?

  22. shogunassasin30 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:11 AM

    I say that’s awesome. Good for him! Maybe as soon as everyone gets off their soapbox they can realize that everyone deserves a chance at redemption. Amazing how many perfect people post on these boards. It’s an honor to be surrounded by so many perfect people…

  23. garciavega3 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:14 AM

    To bad Tim Tebow hasn’t decided to go this route yet. He could actually be a relevant athlete if he chose to play Rugby.

  24. godofwine330 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:14 AM

    At least he is doing something positive. With so many former players caught up doing things they shouldn’t after their playing days are completed, him doing Rugby or anything else positive is a plus.

  25. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: Mar 22, 2013 10:22 AM

    Good for him and it gets rugby in the US some exposure.

  26. gbwally says: Mar 22, 2013 10:24 AM

    You can’t just step in and be a US Eagle (rugby national squad). No way he can learn enough about the sport to make the 7s squad for Rio. Could make a good player for Columbus though.

  27. rugbyisbetter says: Mar 22, 2013 10:24 AM

    Rugby 7’s is not rugby 15s. If the USA can field 7 NFL Caliber athletes they will compete just fine in the Olympics (has another 3 years to learn this sport).
    I hope he is able to salvage his life and career after pissing away so many of the best years of his life.
    Michael Smith hit it right on the head, any elite level athlete that played rugby in high school went with football instead… Can’t blame them.

  28. tsuscrumhalf says: Mar 22, 2013 10:41 AM

    I played rugby for a long time and when we had guys convert from football (if they had talent) they’d either be horrible & not able to take the hitting and the fact that there are no stoppages like huddles, or they’d get it & be amazing.

    Here’s hoping that Clarett falls into the amazing category & turns his life around. IF he wants this, it’s going to require an enormous amount of work and dedication. Those skills could serve him well if he chooses to turn his life around.

    Go USA Eagles!

  29. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 22, 2013 10:53 AM

    “So Holmes is excited to have an athlete on his hands who was good enough to be a third-round draft pick as an NFL running back.”

    Lol not a very correct statement. The Donks may have taken him in the 3rd round, but he obviously wasn’t good enough to be a 3rd round pick because he was cut so quickly and few teams cut 3rd rounders any time soon after the draft.

    That was a huge overreach by the Donks.

  30. imbetterthanyou says: Mar 22, 2013 11:13 AM

    “You can’t just step in and be a US Eagle (rugby national squad). No way he can learn enough about the sport to make the 7s squad for Rio. Could make a good player for Columbus though.”

    He has 3 years to learn the sport. Of course he can (i would hope). He was/is? a more or less top notch athlete that will hopefully be able to learn the sport in that time. it took me about 2 years to learn the ins and outs of rugby, albeit only playing a fall and shortened spring season. The other part is getting in rugby shape, which he shouldn’t have too many issues getting into.

    Then he just has to learn that breaking fingers and noses is just the norm and you just keep playing.

  31. stillworker says: Mar 22, 2013 11:17 AM

    Can he play defense?? The ravens are looking for help.

  32. dan39564 says: Mar 22, 2013 11:36 AM

    Most of the So Called, “Football Athletes” I saw when I played Rugby, Had 3 major flaws:
    They wouldn’t pass the ball, except in desperation to avoid a hit!
    They would run out of bounds rather than take a hit.
    And they couldn’t/wouldn’t tackle!
    They are only functional on the Wing.

  33. vanisle1 says: Mar 22, 2013 12:20 PM

    Good luck, Maurice. Everybody deserves a chance to get their lives straight.

    And to the guy who said bad things about Ohio, why not go there first, then comment. Personally, I live in paradise (i.e., the Pacific Northwest), but I’ve spent time in Ohio and it’s great, too.

  34. reasonableeaglefan says: Mar 22, 2013 12:24 PM

    What’s with the hate? The guy made some mistakes and wasted his talent in his early 20s. Maybe he can get his life together now and represent his country at the Olympic level. Hate! Hate! Hate!

  35. reasonableeaglefan says: Mar 22, 2013 12:28 PM

    Also, I played men’s club rugby for years and reached the national championship once, and competed against US 7’s players. Any posters saying the US will field a side of athletes that are NFL caliber is effing’ dreaming. If he can learn the game, his talent would be a great asset

  36. cmonelisha says: Mar 22, 2013 3:24 PM

    and so the changing guard from nfl to rugby beings.. if they make rugby teams and localize it in america..ill watch!

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