Muscle Sport Magazine

RB Maurice Clarett Getting Last Shot With UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks

Some answers to the big questions surrounding Maurice Clarett may finally be answered now that the mercurial running back has signed with the expansion Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. The former Ohio State standout has been in nothing but trouble since leading the Buckeyes to the national championship as a freshman in 2002. The last time he strapped on the pads came during training camp in 2005 with the Denver Broncos.

Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards and 18 touchdowns in his lone collegiate campaign, but then a series of events led the school to suspend him. He was ultimately dismissed from OSU and eventually went to court to challenge the NFL’s rule that a player must wait three years after graduating from high school to enter the draft. By the time it was all said and done, Clarett entered the 2005 NFL Draft and was chosen by the Broncos in the third round (#101 overall).

Reporting to camp out of shape and 20 pounds overweight led to clashes with the coaching staff and his release that August. Out on the open market, not a single team made any inquiries about Clarett. Legal troubles shortly followed and the once promising gridiron star was arrested twice, once for armed robbery and another for weapons possession in which he was maced and tasered by the arresting officers in order to be taken into custody.

Using the plea bargain system to the max, Clarett bartered the two incidents into a seven and a half year sentence with the promise of possible early release. On April 7 of this year, he was granted as much and entered a halfway house in Ohio. He needed permission from a judge in order to fly to Omaha for a tryout with the Nighthawks.


Now we will see if Clarett is in fact rehabilitated and what he has left – if anything – in the tank. At only 26 years of age, he certainly is young enough to bounce back if he makes the effort. This is a move that will certainly give the second year league some press and if Clarett can be a success story, then it will be a win-win situation. At least on the outset, he is making it sound that way.

“I am humbled by the opportunity the Omaha Nighthawks have given me and will dedicate myself on and off the field to prove that I can be a valuable member of the team and the Omaha community,” said Clarett. “I am committed to working hard to earn the right for a second chance in football and more importantly in life.”

The ultimate goal for any UFL player is to be signed to an NFL contract and if Clarett can show even some of the flashes he had back in college, then his chances are better than not. But more importantly is his off-the-field behavior. Even a parking ticket at this stage in his life will be dissected, as it should be.

Career rushing statistics at Ohio State

Year Games Rushes Yards Average TD
2002 11 222 1,237 5.6 18
Total 11 222 1,237 5.6 18

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