The Football Fever: Clarett stays true to promise he made while playing for Bucks


MARION -- Forme Buckeye running back Maurice Clarett is fulfilling a promise he made to himself while playing at Ohio State.

He was asked to fill out a goal sheet by head coach Jim Tressel as a player and Clarett's response had nothing to do with the NFL, rather giving back to his hometown and others who grew up in a challenged childhood as he did.

During Clarett's well-documented struggles as a young star from a tough background he was offered counseling services by Ohio State. He did not value the service and declined to participate.

Now the 34-year old Clarett offers those services and drug and alcohol counseling at his recovery centers in Columbus and Youngstown. They are called RedZone, a football analogy for a chance to score a touchdown, or in his case, change a life.

"We all want the fame of stardom but not the responsiblity," Clarett shared with ABC-6 Monday in Marion where he was meeting with the school's future superintendent about adopting his services.

Clarett has 135 employees on staff, serving over 1,500 in Ohio. He sees a real application for mental health counseling as once elite athletes must cope with their pro dream eluding them. "That's mental anguish...a crushing blow."

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