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Former Buckeyes star Maurice Clarett returns to class at Ohio State

July 27, 2010 | 10:33 am

Clarett_200 It's been a tumultuous eight years since Maurice Clarett led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a 14-0 record and the BCS national championship.

But now the former star running back is back at Ohio State to pursue his degree.

According to a statement released by the school, Clarett started classes Monday after being readmitted by the College of Education and Human Ecology. He took college-credit courses while serving 3 1/2 years in a Toledo prison after pleading guilty to committing aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon in 2006.

"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 rushed for 1,237 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Buckeyes in 2002. But during the offseason he was accused of academic misconduct and charged with filing a false police report and was suspended by the team for the entire 2003 season.

After losing his lawsuit to be included in the 2004 NFL draft despite not being three years out of high school, Clarett was a third-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2005. But he never played a down and was released by the team in August of the same year.

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Maurice Clarett with Ohio State in 2002. Credit: Jay LaPrete / Associated Press