Maurice Clarett, the former Ohio State football standout from Youngstown who spent more than three years in prison, is once again attending classes at OSU, the university announced on Monday.
Clarett started classes on Monday, after the university allowed him reentry, an Ohio State spokesman said in a statement released Monday evening.
“This is a surreal feeling to be back at Ohio State in such a supportive environment,” Clarett said in a statement. “I have looked forward to being back in school and I’m doing my best to fit in with other students. I don’t want to be a distraction or nuisance to the football team or to students on campus.”
Clarett served more than 3 1/2 years in the Toledo Correctional Institution for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.
After a standout career at Austintown Fitch for one season and Warren Harding for three, Clarett was named Mr. Football following the 2001 season.
He was the starting tailback on Ohio State’s 2002 football team that went undefeated and won the national championship. He never played a game for the Buckeyes after the 2002 season.
He was a third-round draft choice by the Denver Broncos in 2005 but never saw action in a regular-season game.
On Jan. 1, 2006, Clarett was charged with aggravated robbery after police said he flashed a gun at people outside a bar and robbed them of a cell phone. Then, on Aug. 9, Clarett was arrested after a chase when police said that they tried to stop him for a traffic violation.