Analysis | Injury Report | Agility | High School | Personal
Talented athlete who showed in 2002 that he had the ability to energize the Buckeyes in their march to the national title. Clarett displayed the ability to run over, around or by defenders with amazing vision and patience for a player of such a young age.
Clarett was regarded as the best prep player in the country while at Harding High, earning USA Today Ohio Player of the Year honors after rushing for 2,194 yards and 38 touchdowns, adding 19 catches for 351 yards and six scores as a senior. He also rushed for 785 yards and eight touchdowns in the playoffs, including 401 yards and five scores in the regional semifinals. During his time at Harding, he totaled 65 scores on 4,675 yards rushing, but did have injury problems.
In just one short season with the Buckeyes, he gained 1,237 yards with 16 touchdowns on 222 carries (5.6 avg) and averaged 121.9 all-purpose yards per game.
Positives: Before being dismissed from the school in 2003, he showed a thick, muscular frame with little body fat, well-defined thighs and calves, a big bubble and natural hands … Tough, rugged player with modest speed, good balance and change-of-direction agility … Explosive in his start, showing a sudden burst through the holes … Changes gears instantly and has above-average hip swerve and body control … Flashes a good short burst to the hole, stays low in his pads and drives hard with his legs to move the pile … Effective at running at a low-pad level, bouncing to the corner quickly when the rush lanes are clogged … Best when running between tackles, so he can pick and slide while keeping his pads low through the hole … Gets in and out of the holes quickly and shows good lateral agility to cut back … Has a fluid running motion and shows the leg drive and power to rock defenders back when he breaks into the second level … Also does a fine job of squeezing through tight quarters and despite his powerful frame and lack of top-end speed … He’s a “make you miss” type when turning the corner … Has natural hands in short-area passing situations, where he was utilized mostly on screens and flats.
Negatives: He has good size, but the tight muscle frame he showed prior to the 2002 season appeared softer in 2004 workouts … Relies more on his burst and leg drive to get tough yardage inside … Has to run very low to the ground to compensate for a lack of top-end speed … Prone to fumbling when arm tackled (poor ball security) … Lack of knee lift gets him tripped up a little too much … Has decent vision to pick and slide on his outside runs and can redirect inside with precision, but needs to keep his shoulders square when running up the gut … Adequate blocker against the blitz, but will not perform even marginally as a lead blocker … Decent safety valve as a receiver, but mental lapses and an inability to extend for the ball relegates him to swings and dump-offs … Tends to round his cuts in his pass routes, but does a nice job coming back for the ball … Has durability issues and seems to let minor injuries linger more than they should … Needs to show better maturity off the field, as his incidents with coaches, school and authorities are well-documented.
Missed two games as a sophomore and another two as a junior with a knee injury at Harding High … Also missed part of the season opener in 2001 at Harding due to a thumb sprain … Underwent surgery on the thumb before reporting to Ohio State in 2002 … Suffered a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee early in the first quarter of the 2002 Washington State game, undergoing arthroscopic surgery that would sideline him the next week against Cincinnati … Suffered a stinger in his left shoulder on the final drive of the 2002 Wisconsin game. Played the following week against Penn State, but left the game due to the shoulder injury, sitting out the Minnesota clash. Returned to play briefly against Purdue, but was again sidelined with the shoulder injury, missing the next game against Illinois.
Campus: 4.66 in the 40-yard dash … 365-pound bench press … Bench presses 225 pounds 19 times … 36½-inch vertical jump … 9-foot-5 broad jump … 30 5/8-inch arm length … 9¼-hands … Right-handed … Combine: 4.86 in the 40-yard dash … 2.85 20-yard dash … 1.69 20-yard dash … 34-inch vertical jump … 9-foot-7 broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times … 30¼-inch arm length … 9½-inch hands.
Attended Warren Harding (Youngstown, Ohio) High, where he was selected USA Today Offensive Player of the Year … Chosen by theAssociated Press as Mr. Football in the state of Ohio and AP co-Offensive Player of the Year … Parade Magazine All-America pick … One of the country’s top big backs, producing staggering numbers as a senior, rushing for 2,194 yards and 38 touchdowns … Also caught 19 passes for 351 yards and six scores … Led Harding to an 11-2 record and a berth in the regional finals … Rushed for 785 yards and eight touchdowns in the playoffs, including 401 yards and five scores in the regional semifinals … Amassed 4,675 yards and scored 65 touchdowns during his career … Played football for coach Thom McDaniels.
General Studies major … Enrolled at Ohio State at the start of the 2002 winter quarter … Son of Michelle Clarett … Born Oct. 29, 1983 … Resides in Youngstown, Ohio.
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