It’s no secret that the Florida State Seminoles have had their share of off-field issues over the past few seasons. While winning championships on the field, the team has had to deal with player arrests, dismissals and criticism from the public about these actions.
One person who knows first hand about throwing away a promising football career is former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett. After winning the 2002 national title as a freshman, Clarett’s career was short lived in both college and the pros, and he ended up serving time in jail.
Now free, Clarett is making an effort to spread his message about making the right choices, and was invited to speak to FSU on Wednesday, where he pulled no punches:
“A lot of y’all need to grow up,” Clarett told the players. “That’s the bottom line. What happened to Maurice Clarett in prison was, I needed to grow the f— up. You had the world in your hands, the NFL in your hands, and you f—ed it up because you want to be a gangsta.”
“There’s a lot of people in this room that want to be that.”
Clarett addressed football teams at Alabama, Mississippi State, TCU and Connecticut last week, and previously spoke at Notre Dame, LSU, Texas A&M and Tennessee, among others. During a question-and-answer session after the speech, associate head coach Odell Haggins said Clarett was one of the most impressive speakers he had seen in his 22 years at Florida State, reminding the players, “This man is keeping it real.”
“That was one of the most bona fide, true, legit talks I’ve been around in college football in 28 years, trying to reach these young men about making the right choices in life,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Having it all going to the bottom, that gives him a lot of credibility, unfortunately.
“But sometimes, these guys have to see that.”