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Former troubled running back Maurice Clarett speaks to FSU’s players

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The members of the Florida State football team have heard a lot of success stories over the years.

This time, they heard from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, who took one of the hardest falls in the history of college football, talked to the Seminoles Wednesday night, according to ESPN. His message was as difficult as his road has been.

Clarett, who served nearly four years in prison for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, urged the FSU players to develop themselve beyond football.

“Coming from a single-parent environment, coming up in the hoods, sometimes, we’re undeveloped,” Clarett said. “We’re great football players, but we’re s— people. We don’t have the skills to perform.

“Essentially, I was what y’all was: a national champion. How do you go from being Mr. Everything to Mr. Nothing?”

Clarett has spoken to teams at Alabama, Mississippi State, TCU and Connecticut and previously spoke at Notre Dame, LSU, Texas A&M and Tennessee.

“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.”

Clarett is one of 13 speakers addressing Florida State’s team during preseason camp. Seminole players heard Wednesday from Tim Brown, the former Heisman Trophy winner who recently was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They also have heard from Chris Herren, a former NBA player who overcame drug and alcohol addiction, as well as Bob Delaney, a former undercover law enforcement operative and NBA official.

“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.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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