Maurice Clarett, 11 years ago a great running back for Ohio State and a cautionary tale for the last decade, feels like going to the Rio Olympics in 2016. By learning how to play rugby, he may be giving himself a legitimate shot at getting there.
“He’s ridiculous. That’s all I can say,” said Holmes of Clarett. “His footwork is phenomenal. He’s nowhere near conditioned for rugby, but that will come…The stuff he’s doing in the gym right now, he’s just ridiculous.”
It makes sense that Clarett has some of his old moves, but strong, fleet-footed backs and tight ends aren't that rare, and enough get cut from NFL rosters every summer that just a few could field an excellent rugby team. As pointed out on PFT, the United States generally struggles in international rugby competitions because, if you have the skills for rugby and you grew up in the United States, you probably played football. Well, what if no one wants you to play football for them anymore?
Clarett is not the first former NFL player to make a run at rugby, but he’s certainly the most famous. Some crossover projects, like Carlin Isles and Miles Craigwell, have been successes, while others, like Tommy Saunders and Bennie Brazell, have been flops. Some failures have been, in part, due to a lack of financial gratification [...]
Clarett, a Columbus resident, will begin training with Tiger immediately. He joins several Columbus-area rugby players at the ODP, as well as former Fordham safety Isiejah Allen, who is also trying to transition to the sport of rugby.
Rugby Sevens will be an Olympic sport in 2016 and we're packing our team with ringers like Maurice Clarett, and a safety from Fordham! May as well get familiar now—in three years it'll be inescapable.
Maurice Clarett Joins Tiger Rugby [Rugby Mag]