Dave's IMO: Maurice Clarett and Terrelle Pryor—From One Giant Ego to Another

David ThurmanCorrespondent IApril 8, 2010

TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 3:  Freshman running back Maurice Clarett #13 of the Ohio State Buckeyes takes in the BCS Championship victory over the University of Miami Hurricanes in 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

Word out of Columbus is that fallen superstar Maurice Clarett has been released from prison after serving 3.5 years of his 7.5-year sentence. He is not completely free and clear yet, as he moves to a dormitory-style halfway house.

Supposedly the 26-year-old former running back is in great physical shape and has a new humble attitude. Hey, he still has three years of eligibility, so maybe Jim Tressel can talk him into donning the Scarlet and Gray again.

Seriously, it is nice to hear good things about Maurice after so many years of negative news.

On another front, reviews on OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor are mixed this spring, and I'm not just referring to his play on the field. Supposedly, he is talking about going pro after this season and continues to polarize his teammates with arrogant, immature behavior.

I'm not down on Pryor and thought he made giant leaps in the second half of last year. But in case his head gets too big, he needs to take a look at the tape of the Purdue game, when he looked like a high school quarterback. A little humility would go a long way toward helping him to a stellar 2010 season and bonding him to his fellow warriors on the field.

Lest we become too critical of young men like Maurice Clarett or Terrelle Pryor, let's be honest enough to admit that, as fans, we create the monster. Our unhealthy fascination with high school stars and our idol worship of teenage "gods" who can run, jump, and throw a football is out of control.

Football should be a game in which young men can mature and learn valuable life lessons. But it has become big business, and it starts before impressionable adolescents begin to shave. If we tell them over and over again how great they are, and that they don't need to follow the rules, what do we expect? Few teenagers are prepared to handle such adulation and power.

Anyway, here's wishing Maurice all the best in his continued rehabilitation, while hoping Terrelle chooses a different path.