- Posted by Action Catalyst
- On April 26, 2017
- 0 Comments
- entrepreneur, football, leadership, mental health, motivation, NFL, prison, professional speaker, success
Maurice Clarett, former professional football running back who played for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Omaha Nighthawks, and Denver Broncos, as well as noted speaker and entrepreneur, shares his tale of going from championship glory, to professional ruin and prison, and back out the other side, becoming an advocate for mental health, personal development, and criminal justice reform, and even landing a one-on-one sit-down with Warren Buffett.
Maurice Clarett has traveled throughout the nation speaking to universities, businesses, non-profits, faith based organizations and high schools. His life experiences have led him to be one of the most sought after speakers.
Maurice began his success at Ohio State, becoming the first freshman running back to start, be named Big Ten freshman of the year, and set the freshman rushing and touchdown season record. He was also instrumental in helping Ohio State clinch the National Championship in 2002 with two pivotal plays. This was Maurice’s only season at Ohio State due to a series of events that took place in his life (These events be seen in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Youngstown Boys”).
After much success on the field Maurice had trouble finding that same level of success off of the field and found himself serving a 7 1/2 year prison sentence. It was there that Maurice began to take that work ethic and discipline that brought him so much success as a football player and began to focus it on himself as a person. He began to educate himself through college courses, and reading books that interested him on topics such as the economy, finances, and business. His growth became evident to those around him as he would share what he had learned and began motivating others. It was this type of leadership that permitted him to be released 4 years early.
Upon being released Maurice went right to work in developing what he has envisioned. He wanted to create a platform that would allow him to connect, educate, and empower people in their life and/or profession. Maurice soon found himself connecting with the nation’s top business executives, the most notable being Warren Buffet.
His ability to connect with his audience in a practical way leaves those who hear his words feeling inspired. Maurice believes that when you compound positive reinforcements in your life, over time, you begin to receive the benefits from them.
Learn more at MauriceClarett.com.
The Action Catalyst is presented by the Southwestern Family of Companies. With each episode, the podcast features some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Learn more at TheActionCatalyst.com, subscribe below or wherever you listen to podcasts, and be sure to leave a rating and review!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR RSS FEED: https://feeds.captivate.fm/the-action-catalyst/
SUBSCRIBE ELSEWHERE: https://the-action-catalyst.captivate.fm/listen
(Transcribed using A.I. / May include errors):
Host: You are going to hear the story today of Maurice Clarett, who was a collegiate football superstar who won the national championship, broke the college rushing record, scored a winning touchdown, was on the top of the world, and then completely crashed. Ended up in prison and separated from his family, caught up in drugs and all sorts of scandals. And then you’re going to hear a little bit about what happens next and what happened after that. It is a story of epic proportions. I mean, it’s, it’s like a movie. So, Maurice, welcome to the show.
Maurice Clarett: Welcome. I mean, well, thank you. I said welcome. Uh, thank you. Uh, thank you. Thank you for inviting me on.
Host: Before we hear about what happened post-college, tell me about what your life growing up, like where did you grow up? Who was around, what was it like, you know, how did you kind of get into to football and end up making your way to Ohio State?
Maurice Clarett: Well, I come from Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown, uh, for, for everyone who doesn’t know is a very, uh, blue collar area, still literally ran, uh, our town for decades.
You know, I provided on a level of living, uh, and when Black Monday sort of came, which is, uh, the. Where you had a bunch of steel mills sort of shut down. Uh, the town became very desolate and I was like in the 1970s. And, uh, following that, you know, towards the eighties and nineties, uh, is when I grew up. I grew up, I was born in 1983, but in, uh, in the early nineties, you know, you had a, a huge, um, crack epidemic wave.
You had a huge violent rave, uh, all throughout the inner cities. And it definitely, uh, affected the era that I, that I grew up in. And I grew up on a block, uh, called Ravenwood. And in the block it was, uh, you know, a bunch of single parent living, uh, about 40 boys who, who all grew up within the same, uh, age range of one another, uh, within a, you know, three to five year age range.
And it was a, just a, a, a very competitive, aggressive, um, Uh, but, but fun field, uh, childhood growing up, you know, and a and a lot of what takes place, uh, in inner cities, you know, around America, just as in Youngtown o Ohio or Chicago or, or, or, or somewhere in, in Florida or California or somewhere. Uh, but what a lot of takes, what what takes place a lot amongst kids, and I’m speaking in retrospect, is that.
Uh, you know, the, the kid who gets in trouble or the kid who, uh, does the most violent things, you know, seems to get all the respect and or the kid who sells the most drugs. You know, these kind, these guys seem to garner more respect from, you know, other individuals. And so, and just coming up as a young age and seeing it all through my neighborhood, uh, I caught myself gravitating towards, uh, the activities of doing, uh, sort of stupid things or, or, or things that would be, be digging and responsible now.
Uh, but were cool to my neighborhood then, you know. And, uh, I spent a lot of time, uh, playing sports, but also I spent a lot of time being a knucklehead. And, uh, what really started happening when I was a, when I was a child, like I have a mother, was in my life, uh, you know, she worked at this place called Neil U.
Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine. And, uh, she would go to work every morning about seven 30 and she would get home every night, uh, between seven 30 and eight o’clock. And what would happen? You know, my dad wasn’t in the picture, so what would happen is that, um, me and my brother would go to school.
And when we, when we, when we would come home from school, uh, it was just basically all of the kids were in the neighborhood, were raising each other, you know what I’m saying? And, um, So be it. Uh, around 10 or 11 years old. I got incarcerated for the first time, and, uh, the first time I got incarcerated, uh, I stole a car, went on a joy ride.
And, uh, lo and behold, uh, I ended up, uh, getting incarcerated. You know, spent about two or three days in the juvenile institution, came back home. Uh, and when I came back home I was just like, you know, so happy and so glad that you know, this, this stuff had took place in my life. You know, I went to jail and I was like, Heard the rights of passage and, you know, I was considered to be cool at that time.
So the second part, or the second, uh, thing that happened, uh, Uhhuh, , you know, I got out of, I got outta jail, uh, came back to society Living, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m one of the cool guys amongst the cool guys. And, uh, uh, maybe about a month later, I got into a fist fight with some guys from the other side of town.
I was about 11 or 12 years old and I was real big for my age and I was probably. Five 10 at the time. Uh, I know about like probably 180 pounds. You know, I was real big as a kid and uh, I ended up going back to the juvenile halt. Well, well, but when this time I went, uh, they sentenced me to about 30 days and I spent, you know, 30 days in an institution.
Uh, and I thought like, you know, hey, I’m a little bit cooler now. Like, I’m tough, I’m hard, you know, I have this, uh, this juvenile jail persona around me. And I felt like this was like a, a cool deal. And this was like after my brothers had wet and I felt like, you know, I was just wanted a gang. And, uh, I didn’t really realize that, uh, you know, I was just kind of leading my life in a different direct.
And so, uh, after that they, they brought me out the institution. Uh, my mother, uh, uh, tried to get me in like, you know, AAU basketball and track and other activities, uh, to try to occupy my time. And I love these sports, uh, right, very much. But I also love the attention from, uh, anything that went on in the streets, even as a kid, I just used to love that attention or that acceptance from, you know, the guys who were in my.
And so I stayed outta trouble maybe for a year or two. And the last time that kind of really changed my life and got me into football full-time, uh, was like, uh, I went to go break in into an individual’s house. And as we, as we broke in, uh, there was a gentleman, uh, sleeping inside the house. And he woke up.
He came out, and as he came out, uh, he seen us, you know, rummaging through things. And he runs down the hallway. Down the steps and shuts itself in the room. And, uh, you know, I’m running to try to get out the house and I jumped through the window, uh, second story window, bust my head on the window, kind of slither, uh, down the, um, the side of the house.
I bust my head on the ground, uh, I jump over the fence and, you know, I’m tripped up and blood is everywhere. And, uh, low and behold, I’m like, wow, you know, this was, uh, kind of crazy. Uh, but eventually I ended up getting caught. And so before I got caught, you know, I went, I had, uh, 13 staples in my head and, uh, you know, I went back.
To the juvenile facility, and I’m thinking to myself like, man, you know, this time I’m going to, uh, the juvenile prison, which was in Columbus, Ohio. And it’s where like all the kids, uh, from around the state who, uh, were required to go to like the state institution, uh, detention facilities, this, where these kids were kind of headed to.
And so, uh, make a long story short. Uh, the judge had agreed to allow this gentleman, uh, who was a correctional officer named Mr. Roland Smith. She allowed him to kind of interject into what was going on. And so Mr. Roland had came to me about like two o’clock in the morning, I believe, uh, when he was working and was like, man, you know, what are you doing?
You know, you’re messing up your life. Uh, you know, I know your mother. I know your father. You know, you’re not supposed to be in this situation. And, uh, lord, like just in, in retrospect, he was speaking life into me, you know, he was speaking more over my life. , right? Or, you know, what I could become and what I could be doing myself besides, you know, uh, ripping, running, jumping, and, and, and getting in trouble.
And so he said, I’m gonna see if the judge allows me to put you on house arrest. And, uh, if she can, I want to kinda like be your mentor and help you get in the football and just add, uh, some positive male structure. So I agreed to it. Uh, obviously cuz I didn’t wanna go to jail. Uh, the judge agreed to it because she saw the benefit of him.
Basically like being, taking that role on for me. And the next thing you know, we just started to, uh, move forward. And so throughout the summertime I would go back and forth to, uh, workouts. I wouldn’t be getting in shape and, you know, I would come home and spend my time at home because I had one of those little ankle monitors on when, you know, I was, um, You know, being at home throughout the summer and it was, it was healthy for me.
It was healthy for me to be in that environment and then also go back home. And so, uh, going into my freshman year now, uh, this is kind of like, this is how everything’s sort of burst up of high school or college. Yeah, high school. Uh, and so when I come through, I come to my freshman year in high school, uh, I go to a school called Austin Town Fitch.
And I had no idea of like how good I was. Uh, just thought like, you know, I was good in my own hometown, but amongst other guys and kids who are three, four years older than me, You know, I thought these kids were like, like, uh, like way beyond, um, the, my level of talent. And so I got here and lo and behold, uh, my first three or four games, I ended up starting on the varsity team and I had a tremendous amount of success in about three or four weeks.
Uh, a few hundred yard games, uh, a couple 200 yard games. And I just had really made an impact in the town that we were. So, uh, I hurt my ankle in the process and, uh, when I hurt my ankle, you know, I just had a chance to kind of look at it like, man, you know, I don’t have to go back to the ne neighborhood no more.
Uh, I can actually go to college. You know, it wasn’t anything from an academic standpoint, but it was like, man, if I really take football serious, if I really lift weights, if I really spread, if I really get in shape, if I really, you know, do that, I can obviously, you know, do something with my life. And so the whole, uh, fascination with the neighborhood was just going, you know, it was just like there was.
Guess there was something new to do and it was like a cool thing. You had a new vision. New vision. And so that, that same thing happened ninth grade, uh, my, in the middle of ninth grade year got transferred to a school called Warren Harding. Uh, and that was because they were, they were, uh, sending guys to more elite division one level schools, uh, and historically did it. And so, uh, year two it happened. Year three, it happened. Uh, and going into my senior year, I had traveled the country and had seen guys playing. And, uh, there was like just a, a confidence that came over me. And I was like, when I started seeing these guys do stuff, I was like, man, like I’m not just one of the best guys in my area or one of the best guys in the state, like in my heart.
And it was, it was spoken from a level of confidence and not cockiness. I said, I’m better than all these guys across the country. And it was just how I felt about myself and in. You know, just a, like a supreme confidence. And, uh, I go out my senior year, we win a bunch of games and I win the National Player of the year.
And the next thing you know, I’m heading off to, uh, to college. So I graduated earlier, I go to college and uh, you know, that whole process starts over again. It’s like, okay, can I do this again? I was a big man on campus when I left my high school. Right. Uh, but do you have what it takes to do this at the collegiate level?
And, uh, I found myself, um, working so much, uh, out of fear, you know what I’m saying? Like, because I wanna perform the same way that I performed in high school. Uh, so I have to lift every weight and I have to make every meeting, I have to watch every video, I have to do everything. But there was nothing, um, That I felt I had to do, uh, from a characteristic standpoint, from a behavioral standpoint or even from an academic standpoint.
Those things were, uh, were totally neglected. Everything in my neighborhood is animalistic. Everything is primitive. Every, everything is. If we have a problem, let’s fight. Or if we want to, uh, do something, everything is physical. They, they, you have to have no intellect, uh, to, to navigate Most inner cities, everything is instinctual and things of that nature.
And so to a large part, sports is that way. You know, there’s not a lot of thinking. There’s a lot of like, reaction and, and, and, and tenacity and attitude and approach and, and, and just things that you work on naturally come to the forefront. And just, you know, and a lot of the stuff, I’m speaking in retrospect, but I just know.
Like at that moment, there was no nothing for me to identify my life that you needed character for something else. You know what I’m saying? It was just straight. Let me just be a beast. Let me lift weight till, just let me get on the football field and we go through the, uh, entire off season and two weeks before the season.
I ended up gaining the starting position and this was like a big deal for Ohio State. You know, uh, they had a, a long legacy of Eddie George and Robert Smith and Archie Griffith, and, uh, you know, long, just a tremendous amount of talent, uh, before me and to, to reach that, that position as a freshman. Uh, it was a big deal.
So, you know, we come on the scene and, and my. First game, I’m, I’m nervous as heck, you know, I don’t sleep the night before. I’m thinking like, man, can I actually do this? And I go out the first game and I run for 175 yards, you know, like was a big deal, uh, has success at practice, but I was like, you know, can you transfer that thing, uh, to the, uh, to the football field?
And so, uh, lo and behold, and I, and I said all that, uh, and I, and I know, I know I said, During the, um, during the beginning part, but, but it all brings context to, to everything that I’m about to talk about now.
Host: So tell me, what is it like to win the national championship?
Maurice Clarett: Phenomenal on the field. Uh, all the accolades, all of the attention, uh, to be able to go inside of a, uh, uh, a grocery store or a, uh, Or, or cvs or Walmart or whatever you wanna call it.
And to be able to see your face on a magazine, to, to, to start something out with guys as a vision and a sign of a locker room. And, and you have common goals. And a lot of the games that we were winning were very close. And, you know, guys sort of, uh, uh, enjoying that, that was like the most phenomenal thing.
One thing that became a lapse, or one thing that became a hindrance to me was that, uh, the little kid who never grew up, uh, and only became good in football, he started to, to emerge, uh, the more famous I became. So the same little kid who was getting locked up, the same little kid who enjoyed, uh, just, just miscellaneous sex and miscellaneous attention and miscellaneous, uh, activity with everything that kid started to emerge, the more famous he became.
And all of the fame, uh, I didn’t have the skill or the character to sort it, you know what I’m saying? And so when it came and it happened, uh, I didn’t realize I was outta control and I didn’t realize that I was just acting, uh, without a level of humility and, and, and, and it, and it soon burst. You know what I’m saying?
So we go out, we win the national championship. Uh, at this time, uh, LeBron stays about 30 minutes away from me when I stayed in Youngstown and he’s on his, uh, meteor York Meteoric rise. Uh, in Akron and, you know, every chance I get him running back up and down a freeway to see him play basketball, um, uh, at their, uh, at their arena.
And it is just crazy, you know, he’s sending me shoes and, and jogging suits and, and and t-shirts and everything. And Adidas, Nike, and everybody want him at this time. And it was like a phenomenal time. I remember, you know, going on Tour 50 cent and Jay-Z and, and Fabulous and Snoop Dogg, and this was just like the craziest thing, uh, in my life.
And I’m a 19 year old kid, you know what I’m saying? So my perception, reality are, uh, what a college sophomore should be at this time was totally jaded, you know, like totally jaded. And so, um, At the end of the, uh, season, at the end of the, uh, the spring, I headed to my second year, uh, the NCAA came in. They said, Hey, Maurice, uh, we would like to investigate you for things that haven’t been taking place.
And I thought, my heart was like, man, there’s no way that, uh, even the school will, will allow me to be suspended because, you know, I’m worth so much to the program. Uh, but lo and behold, they found 125 violations. They suspend. , uh, indefinitely. Uh, and at that point, you know, that’s when like the mental collapse came in and this was like, like mental health and, and mental health issues and depression and things that you have never, uh, dealt with these things like came to the forefront of my brain.
And so, um, like, you know, when, when you’re going through something from a, from a, uh, from a physical standpoint and football, you can just either watch more film and lift weights and you get how to get better in that. But when you’re going through a depression or. When you’re sleeping two hours a night, uh, or when you’re getting up every day just always thinking negative about something you don’t realize or understand, uh, how to even combat that, deal with that.
Who do you talk to? How do you deal with it the whole night? And I found myself a lot of times either, uh, going back out to the nightclubs, I was going to, uh, hang out at getting drunk, going to have sex with women, doing everything to occupy myself or to distract myself from me, basically being depressed.
And so two a year, By, uh, tried to challenge the NFL for early entry. That didn’t help. They rejected me. I ended up going to California, and I went to California just to get away from Ohio and try to get away from every distraction that I had. Uh, but the lifestyle, the culture of Los Angeles was completely different, uh, from Columbus, Ohio, you know, and I’m out of football for a couple years or so.
Uh, it didn’t do anything, but just, you know, it, it compounded the situation. Right. And to make a long story short, over, uh, over two years, uh, I spent a lot of time just partying and having fun, uh, when I was supposed to be preparing for football, but football just seemed like it was never coming back around.
I was also depressed. So, uh, I, I come to the NFL combine. Two years later I’m preparing and I fell horribly at the combine. And so I’m thinking to myself, I’m like, man, I’m not gonna get drafted. Like there’s no way this is gonna happen for me. You know, I’ve sat on football for two years. I performed horribly at the combine.
I’m not in the greatest of shape anymore, and just my heart just wasn’t into the game. It was just like, you know, I got beat up so much just from media stuff and the ups and downs and just the, the rigor of going through, uh, something very public. And so I was like, okay. Uh, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll just watch the draft when it comes on outta curiosity.
So the draft comes on, uh, first two rounds, come on. And I’m seeing guys getting drafts and then going up on the stage and families crying and all that stuff. And, uh, this was actually making me more depressed cuz I was like, just thinking like, man, that’s supposed to be me. And so, uh, we go, uh, forward and, you know, the ball’s kind of rolling down the uh, road.
First round goes by, second round goes by. I get in the car, I’m riding around, uh, the 4 0 5 and, uh, Denver calls me. Denver calls me and they say, Hey, Maurice, you know, we would love to, uh, bring you out to make you Bronco. Uh, congratulations, you know, uh, you know, with the plane tickets be there tomorrow. So I’m like, man, you know, the plane ticket will be here tomorrow.
Life is great. Uh, you know, I can’t wait. Mm-hmm. . Uh, get out the air, pumped up on the left hand, but then on the right hand, I’m like, I know for a fact I’m not prepared. I think anybody who even listens to this, you know, some, some of us have been given opportunities that we know inherently are in, innately that we’re not prepared to, uh, to steward.
And the next thing you know, at some point, the wheels will fall off on this thing. So I got out to Denver, I was outta shape, and, and the altitude didn’t make it any worse. And, and one thing I didn’t know, I didn’t know how hot it gets in Denver. And so the combination. , all of that. You know, me being outta shape, uh, me having every bad habit you could possibly name, me having bad character, uh, all those things were just beginning to surface.
And so, like midway through camp, uh, coach Shanahan calls me over. He said, man, Maurice, you know, I know you had a tough time before you got here, and I know, you know, we would like to help you on a, support you. And they tried to pair me with a, a sports psychologist. And so for me, Man, I don’t want no sports psychologist.
Like, you know what, what, what is gonna help me to talk to this lady? You know what I’m saying? And just totally blew her off. And so we kept going on inside the season and they tried to approach me again with the woman. So, She set me down and she was trying to figure out what was going on, and I just rejected her again.
I said, Hey, lady, I don’t want anything to do with you. Uh, not in the rude way, but it’s like, you know, I’m cool. I don’t wanna do this. You know, I just didn’t feel comfortable talking to her. And so, you know, the next thing you know, uh, the pre-season comes around. I don’t get in the games, they kick me off the team, and then I’m back out, uh, to California, you know, as a, as a rejected, uh, free agent.
And so now, uh, I circle back. I come to Ohio. When I get back to Ohio, I’m even more depressed. I’m isolated. Uh, not just, just not social, not really know where to pick up the pieces at. And I found myself right back into the streets, you know, right. Running around, hustling, selling drugs, robbing people. And eventually that led to a, uh, a robbery case in downtown Columbus on New Year’s Eve of 2005.
Um, a few weeks after that, uh, literally a few weeks after that, I found out, uh, that my lady I’m with now are still together. Uh, she was pregnant with her. . And, uh, since she’s working with the daughter, I’m kicked outta the nfl. I’m kicked outta college. And just like, everything was just like boom, boom, bam, you know, uh, down the slippery slope of depression.
And, uh, nine months after that, that was like when the big arrests had happened on tv. Uh, I got into a high speed chase, uh, with the, uh, with the police officers when they tried to pull me over and they caught. , uh, with a bunch of guns and a bulletproof vest on. And at that point, everything in my life, uh, had eventually stopped, you know, and everything that I was doing, uh, was kind of shut down.
And I knew I got arrested and went driving downtown to the, uh, courthouse. I was like, you know, it’s over. You know, I’m, I’m, I’ll be in prison. It’s not like, uh, your mother can’t come and get you. Yeah. Your, uh, your coach can’t come and get you. This is like the principal’s office. You know what I’m saying?
Uh, this is the real deal. So I end up going downtown to the prison. And uh, when I got down there, they set me in the county jail. And the irony of all this is that the judge was like, Hey, we’re not going to start a trial or, uh, any level of our proceedings until you get a mental health evaluation. And so I went to go get a mental health evaluation.
I get diagnosed with a anxiety and depression. And, uh, after that, you know, I was waiting for court. Uh, they sit me inside of a cell like a nine by four cell, uh, for 23 hours out the day. Uh, no windows. Pure isolation. You got 20 minutes to go, uh, take a shower inside of another cell, another 20 minutes to use the phone if you’re able to, uh, afford the phone calls and another 20 minutes.
That point to, um, for recreation to go from one cell, uh, into another cell, they were just like, you know, just, just horrible, you know? And I spent that time like that for, uh, for seven months. And so, you know, after all of that isolation and all that lockdown, you know, they finally shipped me to the prison.
I’m sitting for seven and a half years and, uh, it was like a blessing from God happened, uh, on my second day. when I was there. And so, uh, I, I got there my second day. I was called down to a central office in the warden of the prison. His name was, uh, Mr. Kete. Uh, Mr. Kete is probably one of the most beautiful individuals I’ve ever met in my life.
The spirit is like, you know, none other. And, uh, he said, Hey, Maurice, you know, my son’s just same age. And, uh, he’s like, you know, in life we, you know, we make mistakes or bad choices. And, uh, he was like, you know, he was like, uh, the police don’t catch criminals. Criminals catch themselves. They just don’t know how to stop.
You know? I just remember him saying that. And, uh, he was like, um, I think it was what he, essentially what he said, he was like, my father used to be the chief of Sierra Leone. And he said, when guys would get in trouble in Sierra Leone, uh, he would bring them closer, figure out what’s going on, repair them, uh, and send them back so they can be better people.
And he said, but in America, when guys get in trouble, we just happen to throw them away. And I’ve thrown ’em away and, uh, and put ’em in the system where we just keep throwing ’em away. And he said, and so what he told me, he was like, I’m gonna give you a bunch of coursework to do while you’re here. And if you accept it, it’s on you.
And if you don’t, you know it’s on you as well. And essentially what the coursework was, it was a bunch of psychosocial rehabilitative services. And so I was like, you know, I agree. You know, I had to do four years mandatory. Uh, I was like, man, I’ve been wrecking my head into, uh, uh, the wall for the last three or four years, or two, or two or three years.
I just knew I needed some assistance with my life. And so the next thing you know, I start going back and forth to these courses every day. So you would get up at eight in the morning, uh, your first class may be at eight 30 and you probably wouldn’t get back to the dormitory or to the housing unit until about like 4 35.
It was like a regular job of some sorts. Right? And so, After a while, you get to, uh, spend the time around different guys and you get to having conversations about anger management and responsible adult culture and, uh, thinking for a change and, uh, the, uh, five languages or seven Lang love languages. And you start to have, uh, classes that help you to develop or, or speaking to different parts of yourself that you’ve never spoken until you started to realize that there was more inside of you this whole time.
You just never had had the space or a chance to. . And so from there I was asked myself like, you know, what are you going to do? You know, what are you gonna do with your life? Like, you can’t play football, you’ll get outta prison, you know, if you’re lucky at 28, but if you’re not lucky, uh, you’ll get out like a 32 or something like that.
And I said, you know, forget this, man. I gotta, I gotta get my life in order. And so I, I went, I went like into this football mall and I said, okay, when I wanted to play football and learn how to be better, Like I did nothing. And I mean absolutely nothing, but just watch video after video after video of great people.
So I said, man, if I wanna be great in life, I just gotta study from great businessmen or investors or, or people who are just successful. So I went on just this whole tangent of just reading anything I got my hands on. Uh, anytime I see a magazine, you know, I will put my hands on and I start you just getting money from different people.
Who were supportive of meeting during my incarceration and, you know, everything from fortunate Forbes and economists and, uh, uh, uh, econom Economist was one of my best favorite magazines. And, uh, like Inc. And, and 300 and every, everything you could possibly in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, uh, are.
Cater to Columbus dispatch. Everything I would just have coming into my cell. And then there was this thing called bargain books. And Bargain books allows you to order books for like three or four bucks, and I would just like to order 15 books at a time. And so there was so much isolation in prison that all you had to do is just sit and read.
You know? That’s why you see when guys come outta prison, they’re well read. It’s because like when you’re isolating, you sit down so much in a cell and you literally have nothing to do. You just read and write, read, write, read, write, read, write, read, write, read, write, read, write, read, write. Mm-hmm. I just got into that habit, you know, over four years, you know, there’s no party on the weekends or let’s go out and hang out with the family after dinner.
It’s like intense training, you know what I’m saying? And so, right, you’re physically getting together, you’re mentally getting together. And after about, uh, two years, I began to teach some of the classes I had went through. And so, uh, you know, after four years of becoming like a model, uh, like I said model a model prisoner.
If that isn’t a thing, and I don’t wanna say a leader because there. Men, uh, who were a lot tougher than me in prison, but to become a well-respected gentleman, a bunch, uh, amongst a bunch of gentlemen, uh, you know, it was, it was easy to see that I had my stuff together. I mind my business and I, and I handled my business.
And so, uh, for the most part, they let me out. After four years, I got out, I went back to a Ohio State, uh, for a summer school course. And when I, when I go back in the midst of that, uh, there was a gentleman who called me, um, The old, uh, the old Denver Broncos, uh, general manager, Ted Sanquez, he had called me back to play in a minor league, uh, in Omaha, Nebraska.
So I go out to Omaha, Nebraska, and, uh, I had like the time of my life when I was out there, I would just like to go enjoying life and playing football again. And I was doing it because I was broken. You know, I needed the money, my little girl’s four at the time, and you know, obviously I need to be able to provide for her and get some furniture for the house or the vehicle and all the other stuff that, you know, I just didn’t have.
And, uh, I’ll tell you one, one cool story that happened to me when I was out there now when I was in prison. Uh, and they talk about the law of attraction. Some people believe it’s phony and some people believe it’s real. But I’ll tell you just one thing that happened to me, uh, when I was in prison. I think I, I think I know Warren Buffett’s entire life from A to Z, uh, as it is written.
Uh, our coach, uh, when we were in Omaha, Nebraska, my second year, uh, his name was Joe Moglia. And Joe Moglia was like the, uh, the CEO for, uh, TD Ameritrade for about eight years, but he had stepped down in, uh, 2000 and I wanna say nine or eight, uh, from being the chairman of the board. I’m from being active CEO and then to be the chairman of the board.
And, uh, he became a football coach, which I thought was very interesting, you know, to make all that money and then to say, Hey, I wanna go coach football. So he ended up landing, uh, in Omaha, Nebraska and coaching our team. And so one day he was like, Hey Maurice, you know, I think your story is kind of interesting.
Uh, how about you meet me at the golf course? And so I’m like, all right, cool. You know, we gonna meet at the golf course and, um, When I go to the golf course, he just is like this, like, tell me a story. And so we’re just chatting back and forth and, and throughout the, uh, process of us chatting, he’s like, Hey, how about you do this?
He was like, uh, uh, tell me like, you know, what was the reform like in prison? And I told him, like, that one person I was very fascinated with, and, and life in general, uh, was just warm buffing his, his level of humility with all of what he had. And he was like, you know what, uh, Warren Buffett’s a good friend of mine.
Let me see if he’ll meet you. Something to myself like, man, Yeah, but I’m 18 months removed from prison. Like, Warren Buffet don’t wanna meet me. My bad. You know what I’m saying? And so, um, I was like, uh, alright, cool. Like, you know, whatever. And so I kind of blew him off. And uh, next thing I know, it was a Wednesday walking into my apartment and, uh, my phone rings and like, even from seeing him on Charlie Road so much, soon as he, uh, I actually like, Hey, can I speak to Maurice?
And I’m like, uh, speaking. He like, Hey, it’s Warren. He was like, uh, he said, Joe told me that you want to meet me. . And I’m like, what? ? He was like, uh, yeah. He was like, uh, when do you have time? He was like, do you got anything going on on Saturday? And I was like, man, if I did, it’s canceled. Don’t worry about it.
You better believe it. And so like, so I was like, I went to, uh, you know, I didn’t have any money so I, I went to uh, like TJ Max or Marshalls or something and like, I got my best clothes. I’m like, yo, like yo. I thought like, you know, I spent, let me spend all I can on the outfit cuz I gotta get a picture. I gotta look good.
And so I went down to. I went down to the Keywood building, and, uh, when I go, when I get over there, uh, I, I come in and, uh, uh, an appointment, just kinda show you how God works in your life. Uh, an appointment that he was, uh, about to do, they canceled on him. And so when I came up there, we was just supposed to be shaking a hand, taking a picture and roll out.
And so, uh, I had my family with me. He was like, Hey, you know, I was like, Hey, do you mind if I, uh, uh, he was like, Hey, do you, do you, uh, Stay in chat because my appointment was, uh, gone and I said, don’t wanna stay in chat. I’m like, absolutely. Like, you know what I’m saying? Let’s go. Wow. We sat there, he was like, you know, Maurice, you know, uh, he like, you know, I talk a lot.
He, I was like, I don’t mind listening, you know what I’m saying? And so for like four hours just going back and forth with him. Unscripted, just straight free styling, you know, just hanging out with the man. Beautiful moment in my life, my man. And, uh, and that was cool. But, you know, just kind of jump back into like the, the, the main story, uh, after being in Omaha for two years, the league that we were in and had shut down.
And, uh, and after that, um, there was a, uh, what is it called? There was a probation or a clause in my prob. Required me to be in Omaha to play football because I had five years upon my release. And then they shifted me back to Ohio. And when I came back to Ohio in the, in the interim of that, uh, you had E S P N reach out and say, Hey, we would like you to do a 30 for 30 on your life.
And, you know, I didn’t know what a 30 for 30 was. and then they reached out. We agreed, uh, uh, to, to the video and basically we shot it over like the next eight months. And, and one day, uh, when it came out, uh, my email and my Facebook, I didn’t even know what Facebook was. You know, I didn’t even, like, I didn’t even know how to go in and look at stuff.
I didn’t know what the fan page record of stuff was. I barely knew how to work an email, but it just kind of blew up overnight. And I had, you know, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds Wow. Uh, to come and speak. And, you know, I wasn’t even prepared to speak, you know, I was just trying to get my life in order.
And so, uh, people was like, Hey, can you come and tell your story? And I’m like, I don’t even know how to tell it, but I’ll try. You know what I’m saying? Maybe even if you just ask me questions, I like, we’ll, we’ll start right there. And, uh, and so next thing you know, I just got on the plane and, and I, I learned how to speak on the fly and I got around the country and I got in front of people’s faces with, uh, you know, just, uh, from different businesses to churches, to, uh, youth organizations, to collegiate football teams and basketball teams and track teams and.
Uh, recovery centers and anything that you can possibly think of, and I’m pretty sure if you said you speak to, you know, 70 to 80 times a year, you know, the, the various venues [00:30:00] and the places that, you know, some people may not realize, you know, that’s out there, uh, that you’re able to speak at, you know, just kind of spaces.
And, uh, you know, like after, after about three years, uh, it kind of beat me up, you know, so I, so I, one, I applaud you for having a stamina to travel that much, but for me it was beating me up. I was like, yo, I’m never home. Uh, my daughter’s growing up, I just spent three years in prison and to just spend three years in prison, didn’t get back on the road for three years and just be gone, you know, four days a week, right?
Yes, it very hard, you know, very, very hard. So I said, you know, I studied entrepreneurship when I was in prison. Uh, and I really, you know, I, you know, I had a chance, you know, I was very fortunate, very fortunate, uh, to be able to get paid just to speak, which I think is, you know, I think is like crazy. You get paid to speak and, um, You know, they, uh, they, they, uh, they paid me and I was, you know, I was sitting on, uh, some money.
I was able to, uh, invest into some trucks. I was like, you know, transportation is a relatively easy industry to understand, and I also got into some real estate. And so I, I started letting those things grow and build and, and create some residual income for myself. And, uh, and I got into the packaging business from the transportation business.
And, you know, things just started to grow. And, uh, one thing happened, I went to, uh, uh, a youth organiz. Youth organization, a youth, um, whatever it’s called, like symposium. And they had a bunch of student athletes here. And this kind of like changed my life into the space that I’m in now. And I finally think that I’m in my life’s work and I really feel that way.
Uh, but I was speaking at a youth organization and these people had a breakout session. And, uh, in the breakout session there was a gentleman, uh, who, uh, was presenting something that I basically was teaching in Prism. And I really got the material from another, uh, book that I had got. But it was a thing called the Ambc, uh, the activating event, the mind activity, the body Reaction, the Consequences.
And it was basically teaching kids cognitively how to process information or conflict or, or just whatever it was going on in their lives. And I was like, Hey my man, you know, I used to teach this when I was in prison. Like, do you mind if I engage with the kids? Cause I just enjoyed teaching And, um, Next thing you know, uh, we’re sitting there, we’re going through the, uh, the lesson on a lecture.
And after we were over, I was like, my man, like, you know, what do you do? And he was like, you know, I own a, uh, behavioral health agency. And so at that time, I never knew what a behavioral health agency was. I was like, you know, but I was like, uh, this is the platform to, to engage with people. And I knew it’s a platform because I remember when I went down to, uh, what it was, lsu, and I remember speaking to Leonard Fork after we were done.
I don’t know why. I think it was just because it. and, and it was like the magnitude of it. And the year before that was Derek Henry when he played at, uh, Alabama, uh, with all these young guys. They would come up to me and they was like, you know, like, I understand where you are at, but how do I get from where I’m at to where you are at?
And, uh, it’s like never just one. It’s like, it’s not one book, it’s not one, uh, it’s not just one thing. It’s a process of you continuously working on your mind and working on your body and everything else. And I just was like, yo, this is the stuff that kind of changed my life in prison over a period of time.
And I thought that it was cool that I, there was a vehicle out here, uh, to deliver, uh, information like this. And, uh, you know, uh, and I went from there. And to make a long story short, I got with an agency or got with the company, uh, to help me develop, uh, my policies and procedures and things that I wanted to do, uh, within my agency and over, you know, probably, I think we started October 15th when we started, uh, sitting down and developing this work and.
June of 2016, uh, we opened our doors up and, and we went back to the Youngstown community. And I, I intentionally went back into these neighborhoods and, and, and back to dealing with these schools and kids, uh, that I basically had had dealt with. And we, we also do mental health for adolescents and adults.
Uh, but we also deal with, uh, uh, a recovery. You know, we have, we’re, we’re part, we’re partly a mental health agency and part of treatment facility. And so, uh, we started going back into these schools and, you know, we work with probably, I think about 300 families right now. Uh, we have about 27 employees. We do direct services in school, after school, uh, a bunch of family counseling and just a bunch of cool stuff.
Uh, where were we engaged with people? Uh, we, uh, we do a bunch of outpatient services with adults. We’ve housed about 30 men, uh, about 15 women. Uh, and we just help these people who happen to be in recovery, uh, affected by either alcohol, the opioid epidemic or, or anything, uh, that in their lives, uh, things that basically affected me personally.
And this work is sort of like near and dear to my heart. Uh, that’s sort of my life, you know? Um, uh, it’s sort of like, like sort of what, what I have going on. Uh, and I, like you said, it’s just been a journey and it’s, it’s. Um, or thing you go through, uh, prior, uh, to, to where you’re at in life, it kind of teaches you and helps you or propels you to the, uh, to the next.
Host: Well, Maurice, I wanted people to hear this story because it blew me away. And is it fair to say that personal development had a pretty dramatic change on shaping, reshaping your life?
Maurice Clarett: Well, it, it is the essence of the change of my life, and it’s, it’s, the essence of our agency is called the Red Zone. It’s the essence of what we do. It’s all personal development. If, if, if, if like, you know, school, school teaches you, it gives you instruction, it teaches you like, um, Like specific skills and specific areas, you know, but, but being able to apply what, you know, being able to, to, to pump yourself up, being able to stay disciplined, being able to stay in the right frame of mind, being able to engage with others.
And all the other skills that you get from building, uh, are just going through personal development. Um, uh, material in general is the, is the, is the cornerstone of my change. I would personally believe in all psychosocial rehabilitative services are, is nothing more, nothing more than just personal development. Being brought in a clinical way.
Host: Where do you want people to go to kind of learn more about you and connect with you?
Maurice Clarett: If they wanna connect with me, they can do, uh, mauriceclarett.com and I’ll have everything for me personally.
Host: Maurice, I just wanted to say, you know, thank you for sharing your story and most of all, thank you for making such a dramatic turnaround in your life.
Maurice Clarett: Thank you. Now I heard this before I go, God only uplifts. And puts you in position to uplift efforts and my life. Nothing more, nothing less isn’t about me. It’s about basically people putting uh, me in position or God putting me in position to be in a position to uplift others. And so everything is all good. Uh, I can’t complain. Uh, but thank you again. Thank you for having me.