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Thread: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/10985575.htm

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    Contrite Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    By RANDY COVITZ The Kansas City Star


    INDIANAPOLIS — The twinkle in running back Maurice Clarett's eyes was unmistakable. His bright smile illuminated a packed conference room Thursday in the RCA Dome.

    Second chances will do that for a person.

    “It's kind of like a blessing that I got a second chance to make a first impression,'' Clarett said of his highly unusual, if not unprecedented, second trip to the NFL Scouting Combine.

    Clarett, 21, was far from the rebel who challenged the NFL draft eligibility rules in court last year after he was suspended as a sophomore at Ohio State.

    When a federal court ruled in Clarett's favor, he reported to last year's combine immature, overweight and so out of shape, he declined to work out. But right before the draft, an appellate court upheld the NFL's rules that a player must be three years removed from high school before he is eligible for the draft.

    That left Clarett in football purgatory. So he spent much of the last year in southern California working on a personal makeover. He hit the weight room. He ran, did agility drills and turned the fat into a better proportioned 234 pounds on his 6-foot frame. He even studied tapes from his high school and college games and went over defenses and blitz schemes as preparation for interviewing with NFL coaches.

    “I worked on me,” said Clarett, who plans to run, lift and do anything the teams ask this weekend.

    Clarett credited his attorney, David Kenner, for helping him realize he's made some mistakes since his freshman year at Ohio State, where he helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2002 national championship.

    “He wasn't scared to tell me my faults and the wrongdoings I had, even when I didn't want to hear certain things,” Clarett said. “He helped me mature… The biggest thing was probably humility. I don't want to say I was humble in the past all the time.”

    While Clarett was saying all the right things, he still has to convince an NFL team he hasn't lost the skills that produced 1,237 yards and 18 touchdowns in 11 games in 2002. Clarett hasn't played a snap since his freshman season, when he scored the decisive touchdown in Ohio State's 31-24 victory in double-overtime against Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Some NFL officials haven't forgotten or forgiven the arrogant athlete who refused to work out at last year's combine.

    “This is another opportunity,” said Buffalo president/general manager Tom Donahoe, who was an outspoken critic of Clarett last year. “We'll see what he does with it.”

    Clarett believes he'll have the rare benefit of being a veteran of the combine and its tedious process of physical examinations and written tests as well as lifting weights and running sprints.

    “I just took it a lot more serious than I did last year,” he said. “I've got a lot greater work ethic. I don't care if it's special teams, anything, just get me on the field, I want to play with anybody.”

    No question, the hardest part for Clarett last year was watching others play on Saturdays and Sundays.

    “When the games come on, you watch the highlights of other people and you know you could be out there doing those same things and helping your team win,” Clarett sighed.

    Remarkably, Clarett has no regrets about challenging the NFL last year and was surprised when the appellate court overturned the ruling that had gone in his favor. Clarett's only regret was that after initial court verdict, Southern California sophomore wide receiver Mike Williams followed Clarett's lead by declaring himself for the draft and hiring an agent, only to be denied NFL and NCAA eligibility after the appellate court's decision.

    “I probably felt more badly for him than myself,” Clarett said. “It was like I started it, and he got caught into my web. We've talked to each other a couple of times. I wish him all the best of luck. I hope he goes as high as he can in the draft.”

    Had Clarett been eligible for the draft last year, he was projected to be a second- or third-round pick. Considering he's missed two full football seasons, and the depth at running back in the draft, not to mention his reputation, he may not be taken until the lower reaches of the draft, if at all.

    “When you step on that field, it doesn't matter where you were drafted,” he said. “You can be Tom Brady (a sixth-round pick) for example. Or (undrafted) Priest Holmes, Kurt Warner… you can go on and on. It matters financially. But when it comes down to playing on that field, you can ask anybody I've ever played against, I don't joke around. I handle my business.

    “I just can't wait to get back in the locker room. The fellowship with the teammates, hanging out with the teammates again, I just miss being around a team.”

    Certainly, there will be considerable debate about Clarett in draft rooms.

    Texas running back Cedric Benson, who will be a sure-fire first-round pick, believes Clarett will find a home in the NFL.

    “Regardless of what he's been through, somebody is going to like him,” Benson said. “Somebody's going to love him, and somebody's going to pick him up.”
    Clarett's behavior at last year's combine is the best example of why freshmen and sophomores shouldn't be eligible for the draft -- they lack maturity. Granted, a lot of upperclassmen also lack maturity, but it's much more pronounced in underclassmen.
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    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    I see him going to Dallas in the fourth round.
    'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    He should enter politics, because that is what he is doing now.... politicing.

    For him to say that he took responsibilty for his past mistakes and is ready to move on is utterly laughable. He pointed his finger at everyone else but HIMSELF! I still remember Jim Brown coming to his aid and saying he was just a misunderstood kid and that what was hapening to him carried a hint of racism.

    I knew people who attended OSU while Clarett was there. One of them was on the team and roomed with Michael Jenkins. Ask the student body what they thought of this kid while there. That is where you'll get the truth on him, and it wasn't pretty. He thought he was above everything else (including the NCAA regulations), and that no one would dare touch him. He was involved in alot more then just what came out in the media. And alot of the students on campus knew of it all too.

    Where will he go? I'll tell ya where I'd like him to go.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    He should enter politics, because that is what he is doing now.... politicing.

    For him to say that he took responsibilty for his past mistakes and is ready to move on is utterly laughable. He pointed his finger at everyone else but HIMSELF! I still remember Jim Brown coming to his aid and saying he was just a misunderstood kid and that what was hapening to him carried a hint of racism.

    I knew people who attended OSU while Clarett was there. One of them was on the team and roomed with Michael Jenkins. Ask the student body what they thought of this kid while there. That is where you'll get the truth on him, and it wasn't pretty. He thought he was above everything else (including the NCAA regulations), and that no one would dare touch him. He was involved in alot more then just what came out in the media. And alot of the students on campus knew of it all too.

    Where will he go? I'll tell ya where I'd like him to go.

    I know I personally can vouch for everything you just said, but its a lot more involved than just Clarett... and i personally dont think there's a major athletic university in this country that can honestly say they don't give preferential treatment to their athletes.
    "It is much easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    I pity the team that drafts him
    Go Gators!

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    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Leader
    I see him going to Dallas in the fourth round.

    Let me clarify, that was the 4th round of the Arena League draft to the Dallas Deperado's. :MandJ:
    'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
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  8. #7
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    Pictures are in from the Indy Combine...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    Looks like tOSU is getting a little payback on Clarett.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft0...ory?id=2004345

    Clarett needs strong personal workout
    By Tom Friend, ESPN The Magazine
    Tom Friend Archive

    Maurice Clarett, who was hoping to be a Buckeye-for-a-day next week, has been barred from Ohio State's "Pro Day" workouts on March 9.

    Clarett ran two inferior 40-yard dashes at the NFL combine and preferred to run again for pro scouts next week in Columbus, alongside several of his former college teammates. But, according to one of Clarett's agents, Josh Luchs, Ohio State nixed it because Clarett is no longer enrolled at the school and hasn't played for the Buckeyes within the last year.

    "I spoke with Steve Snapp," Luchs said, referring to the Ohio State sports information director, "and he said they would not allow Maurice to participate, because, first and foremost, he does not meet their criteria. And then he said, 'Look, we wish him well, but we also feel it would be a distraction for the other players who are trying to showcase their talents for NFL teams.' Well, the last thing Maurice wants to do is be a detriment to the other players. Out of respect to them, we accept and understand their position, and are going to do it elsewhere."

    Snapp had not returned telephone messages as of Thursday afternoon.

    Under the NFL's guidelines, players can either work out for pro scouts at their college or in their hometown. As a result of the Ohio State decision, Clarett likely will work out in the greater Youngstown area, where he grew up, possibly on April 1. That day, quarterback Charlie Frye is scheduled to work out for NFL personnel at the University of Akron, and, after that workout, Clarett's agents, Steve Feldman and Luchs, intend to bus the pro scouts 50 miles to Clarett's session in Youngstown.

    "We understand NFL people have a lot of travel to do, to see these prospects at their private workouts," Luchs said."So we'd like to select April 1 to make it as easy as possible for these NFL teams, many of which will be in Akron."

    Clarett made several miscalculations at the recent combine and hopes to rectify those at his private workout. He had originally bulked up to impress the scouts that week, but was too heavy, and, after a crash diet, ran disappointing times of 4.82 and then 4.72. After his poor 40 times, he refused to partake in any more workouts, to the dismay of NFL coaches and general managers. He's projected now as a sixth- or seventh-round pick, if he's drafted at all, and that's why his next workout is of dire importance. He is already back in training, with a speed coach, in Southern California.

    Clarett had originally mentioned at the combine that he wanted to run at Ohio State, but it clearly would have turned into a circus. In November, Clarett accused Ohio State of academic and financial improprieties, and it has led to an ongoing NCAA investigation.

    But Clarett has said he made those claims to clear his name with NFL executives, that he would have stayed quiet if head coach Jim Tressel and athletic director Andy Geiger had not "bashed" him to the NFL. He has since said he harbors no ill will toward the school and, in a conversation with ESPN The Magazine before the combine, Clarett said he hoped the war of words between him and Ohio State would stop.

    "Can we all quit?" he said. "Let's cease. I don't want to be known as a troublemaker anymore. I don't want to be known as an ass. I just want to stop. It hurts so bad. My feelings are being overshadowed by the story. It's to the point I'm not 'me' anymore; I'm a machine. I'm a story. I'm a big ball of controversy. And I want it to quit."

    Tom Friend is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. E-mail him at tom.friend@espnmag.com.
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  10. #9
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    I'm tring to find this Media Player file that someone made where Clarett is beat by a 90 yr old man in the 100 yd dash. A buddy of mine saw it and laughed his butt off!

  11. #10
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    I'm tring to find this Media Player file that someone made where Clarett is beat by a 90 yr old man in the 100 yd dash. A buddy of mine saw it and laughed his butt off!
    Why don't you look up a couple of posts, blind man.
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  12. #11
    Member ochre's Avatar
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    Re: Clarett gets second shot at NFL combine

    ...possibly on April 1.
    insert joke.
    4009




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