Maurice Clarett Gets Second Chance, Tryout With UFL's Omaha Nighthawks
The last time Maurice Clarett made football related news was when he was released from the Denver Broncos in 2005.
Now in 2010 he's drawing positive attention for the first time since his glory days at Ohio State.
The United Football League's Omaha Nighthawks are giving Clarett a second chance at football, and possibly at life.
Clarett has spent nearly the last four years of his life locked up in prison, but in early August he was granted an early release.
So how did Clarett go from hero to zero, and does he still have a chance to redeem himself?
Clarett's freshman year at Ohio State made him a hero, despite many public incidences that hinted at character issues.
People seem to forget your bad attributes when you help lead your team to a national title.
Clarett recorded over 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2002, but was suspended for the 2003 season.
Clarett's suspension came as a result of criminal charges stemming from a false police report he filed regarding items being stolen from a car he had borrowed.
He also came under fire for accepting thousands of dollar in illegal benefits while at Ohio State.
After just one year, Clarett was kicked out of college football, never to return.
Clarett Sues the NFL
Out of options, Clarett chose to sue the NFL for entry into the 2004 draft.
While he won the original case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned that verdict. The Supreme Court then opted to not hear the case.
Clarett was left to wait another year.
The Denver Broncos Take a Risk
On draft day 2005 the Denver Broncos shocked the NFL by taking Clarett in the third round.
Many people had felt that Clarett would not even be taken in the draft, let alone so high.
Despite reporting to training camp 20 pounds overweight and out-of-shape, the Broncos signed Clarett to a four-year deal.
The Broncos Subsequently Release Clarett
Just one month after signing his contract with the Broncos, Clarett was released.
No other teams expressed any interest in him.
On New Year's Day 2006 Clarett was accused of two incidents of armed robbery with a handgun.
Clarett entered a nightclub with the weapon and allegedly robbed two people inside.
Then in August 2006 Clarett was arrested after leading police on a chase after making an illegal U-turn.
Police found a bottle of Grey Goose, an AK-47, and a katana among other things in the car. Clarett's bond was revoked.
Eventually Clarett would plea guilty and was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, but with the option to apply for early release after three-and-a-half years.
Clarett's Early Release and Signing with the Nighthawks
On April 7, 2010 Clarett was released form prison and sentenced to a halfway house for six months.
After his release Clarett began to take summer classes at Ohio State, then more recently petitioned his judge to take a trip to Nebraska to try out for the Nighthawks.
Well something went right.
People seem to believe Clarett is a new man, and if there is a place he can prove that, its the UFL.
The UFL is known for giving people second chances at football, but Clarett is getting something much more.
Is it a publicity stunt? Probably.
But something in me has to hope something good can come of this.