Maurice Clarett, the 2005 third-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos who never played a down in the NFL, is going back to college after being released from prison.
Clarett has enrolled as a student at Ohio State, where he was a star running back for one season but became a notorious figure for his fight with the NCAA and his repeated off-field problems.
“This is a surreal feeling to be back at Ohio State in such a supportive environment,” Clarett said in a statement. “I have looked forward to being back in school and I’m doing my best to fit in with other students. I don’t want to be distraction or nuisance to the football team or to students on campus.”
Even though the Broncos cut him before he ever played in a regular-season game, Clarett is a significant figure in NFL history. The league’s stance that players must be three years out of high school before they can play in the NFL was bolstered when Clarett sued the league and lost.
When Clarett finally got his chance at football, he blew it by showing up out of shape and showing a complete disregard for the instruction of the Broncos’ coaching staff, and his life took an ugly turn when he was imprisoned for robbery and weapons charges.
But now Clarett is free and in school again. Although Clarett isn’t eligible to play in the NCAA and almost certainly won’t get another chance at the NFL, at age 26 he’s trying to turn his life around.