The combine is the final chance for some

April 23, 2005, midnight | By Adith Sekaran | 15 years, 9 months ago

Clarett's chances hurt after 40-yard dash

The last step for most draftees is usually the combine, which is a chance for most players out of college to prove themselves in front of National Football League (NFL) scouts. Usually the combine does not have as great an impact on the futures of collegiate football players because scouts are also aware of their past three or four years competing at the college level but a solid outing does not hurt. However in the case of Maurice Clarett who has not played as much in college, the combine is the best way to judge his talent.

Recently, there have been more people who do lose eligibility for college sports. In this year's draft there are three potential stars in former Florida State (FSU) quarterback Adrian McPherson, Clarett of Ohio State and University of South California (USC) standout receiver Mike Williams. Each of these players has made mistakes and because the NCAA is very unforgiving, they are trying to make their lifelong dreams of reaching the NFL come true.

Of these three, Clarett has the most mystery in terms of success on the field. Scouts have to judge him on his lone stellar season at Ohio State, which was two years ago. After going against NCAA rules and regulations for collegiate athletes, he could not play. He tried to sue the NFL so he could be eligible for the draft but lost.

Finally Clarett appeared motivated to succeed at a professional level. Last year when he made an appearance at the combine, Clarett appeared out of shape and immature to league scouts. After running his 40-yard dash, Clarett pulled his hood of his sweatshirt over his head and did not participate in any other events. His disappointing 4.8 has turned away NFL teams because 300 pound linemen can clock quicker times.

After his poor performance at the combine, teams will not be willing to take the risk of drafting Clarett. He had his one great season at Ohio State but after that he has not played organized football. Clarett is a strong and bruising runner that does not rely on speed. He grinds through the holes quickly and is built more like a Jamal Lewis. He can bench 225 pounds in 22 repetitions, a stat that shows his mistake in not taking part in more events.

If Clarett had played some football over the two years he had off, he would have a better chance of getting drafted on the first day in either the first, second or third rounds.

Meanwhile, another player with a troublesome past helped his future in the combine and outside the college environment. McPherson was on track to be a great college quarterback who would evolve into a great quarterback in the NFL. He became the only high school Florida athlete to win the prestigious honors of Mr. Basketball and Mr. Football during the same year.

However in his sophomore year, he was charged of gambling on college football games and was dismissed from FSU. At this point in his life, he distinguished himself from Clarett. McPherson attempted to continue his football career at Murray State and Tennessee State University but eventually ended up in the Arena Football League (AFL).

His strong showing with the AFL team the Indiana Firebirds has boosted his stock. He threw for 3297 yards with 61 touchdowns and five interceptions in his first and only season in the AFL. McPherson showed off his feet as well after rushing for 269 yards and 19 touchdowns from the quarterback position. He came in to the combine with nothing to lose and amazed the scouts. After pulling his quad, he still ran a 4.69 40-yard dash, much faster than a healthy and supposedly well conditioned Clarett.

McPherson also has the build to be an NFL quarterback, standing 6' 3.5" and 218 pounds. He has an athletic body and has a vertical jump comparable to wide receivers, making the only risk in drafting him his past. McPherson is the first to admit he made a mistake but claims he was young then and now has changed. The team willing to take the gamble could acquire a young and gifted quarterback that might become the next great passer.

Williams' future is not as much of a mystery as the other two. Williams had two solid years at USC and is projected to be one of the first ten picks. Despite his missed season at USC, he stands 6' 5" with great hands and teams will not pass on that size. Speed is not one of Williams' fortes but with a respectable 4.59, he is more than qualified.

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Adith Sekaran. Adith Sekaran is finally a senior at Blair. Adith is a man who is a big time sports fan and can spend any day to its' entirety watching sports or ESPN. Football season is his favorite, which he spends cheering on his ‘Skins to no … More »

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