Maurice Clarett to Ezekiel Elliott: Focus on college, not NFL hype

Wednesday January 14th, 2015

Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett had some advice for Buckeyes star Ezekiel Elliott on his Instagram page on Wednesday.

The article to which Clarett is responding, "Let College Football Playoff Star Ezekiel Elliott Go Pro," was published by TIME on Tuesday.

Elliott enjoyed a breakout sophomore season, rushing for 1,878 yards (6.9 per carry) and 18 touchdowns as Ohio State won the inaugural College Football Playoff championship. In the title game vs. Oregon on Monday, Elliott was the offensive MVP and set championship game records in rushes (36), rush yards (246) and rushing touchdowns (four).

Over his final three games of the season, Elliott combined for 696 yards and eight touchdowns.

According to NFL rules, Elliott is ineligible for the draft since he is a sophomore. Players must be three years removed from high school to turn pro.

Elliott's teammate, Cardale Jones, is a redshirt sophomore, so he could go pro if he desired.

FARRAR: Cardale Jones should declare for NFL draft, despite just three starts for OSU

Clarett starred at Ohio State in 2002, rushing for 1,237 yards (5.6 per carry) and 18 touchdowns as the Buckeyes won the 2003 BCS National Championship. He was later suspended for the 2003 athletic year after being charged with filing a false police report and being accused of receiving special benefits totaling approximately $29,000.

After he was dismissed from Ohio State, Clarett challenged the NFL's rule mandating that players be three years removed from high school. He won his first trial case in the lawsuit, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the decision. Like former USC wide receiver Mike Williams at the time, Clarett had signed with an agent and was then unable to be reinstated by the NCAA.

Clarett later participated in the 2005 NFL combine and was drafted in the third round by the Denver Broncos. He never played in a preseason game, however, and was released on waivers that August.

Mike Fiammetta

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