Was Ohio State's Maurice Clarett the Prodigal Son?

Chip MinnichCorrespondent IApril 8, 2010

TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 3:  Running back Maurice Clarett #13 of the Ohio State Buckeyes lunges for the goaline to score the team's second touchdown against the University of Miami Hurricanes during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium on January 3, 2003 in Tempe, Arizona.  Ohio State won the game 31-24 in double-overtime, winning the NCAA National Championship.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Maurice Clarett has been released from a Toledo correctional facility and will relocate to a "halfway house" facility in the Columbus area.
According to this link from The Columbus Dispatch , Clarett has plans to eventually open up a fitness center for geriatric clients.

As disappointed as I was with Clarett's actions, beginning in July 2003 , any true Ohio State fan must acknowledge that without Maurice Clarett in 2002, Ohio State would not have even come close to winning the national championship.
Another point to consider when recalling the 2003 season is that Ohio State had no semblance of a running game, and was close to repeating as national champions. If Clarett had been on the team, perhaps Ohio State would have gone back-to-back as national champs.

Speaking for myself, I can only hope that Clarett has learned from his previous mistakes, and is now ready to become a productive member of society. I am willing to forgive, and I will certainly not forget Clarett's positive accomplishments to Ohio State football almost eight years ago.