Long Road Ahead

Maurice Clarett continues to not only tarnish his image, but is eliminating all chances of just getting a chance in the NFL. Literally he has went from being one of the top backs in college football, to a late first day draft choice, and now his status is in limbo after a stage show disappointing performance.

For the second year in a row the NFL network is telecasting the combine, which allows scouts, coaches, and fans to take their own notes without having to travel. Just a few days before his forty yard dash setback, Clarett played with reporters and the media on how much he has changed. He definitely seemed like a different person that has endured a lot over the last year, but NFL scouts weren?t buying it.

Clarett was just protecting his back, and misleading everyone. He even said if he ran a solid forty time, that he wouldn?t do any other workouts after that day. Well he showed up ready to go, and in fact was constantly on a treadmill at the hotel to get his legs ready. He even performed well in the strength drills by doing twenty two reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Scouts knew he was capable of that, but wanted to see if he had the speed.

Over the last year, Clarett has been training extensively on dropping his body fat percentage, and building up his body. He did both, by dropping his body fat from seventeen percent to eleven, and bulking up in a noticeable appearance. By building body mass an athlete tends to lose their quickness, and for Clarett that was the case. His forty time went from 4.6 at last years combine to 4.8. It was a dramatic change of events for Clarett, and he obviously didn?t know how to handle it.

Clarett acted like a kid that runs off the stage because of embarrassment. Scouts and other media personnel perceived the move as Clarett?s true ways. He completely gave up and didn?t return to perform other drills. With all the fresh talent at running back, Clarett more than likely killed any chances of being more than a late sixth round or seventh round pick. Even at that, an NFL team that drafts him is just going to take him because of the value/risk factor. They know he can be a solid back, and with a throw away draft choice why not take a gamble? If he doesn?t pan out in training camp, he?ll be cut in a heartbeat and find his way to Arena Football.

Another option for Clarett may be to switch to fullback. Every year more and more big backs are being switched to the position, because it gives NFL teams a versatile running fullback. Other than that if Clarett wants to redeem himself, it?s going to start from the bottom up. There isn?t another running back that has slipped this much in the course of a year in a long time.

It brings up another point, that by Clarett having to wait to be eligible for the NFL it hurt his future. An athlete often jumps board to the NBA because they know that they?ve peaked well and are an automatic lock to be drafted highly. Clarett was likely going to be a late first round to second round pick last year, and with the delay it has ultimately added more stress and a shadow of media where ever he goes. Who knows if he had got his chance last year if he?d be on the right path and working hard fresh off of his first season in the NFL We will just never know, but for Clarett that should have been extra motivation for him to work even harder.


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