CFB AM: Maurice Clarett to FSU: Too many of you want to be 'gangstas'
Maurice Clarett was a star running back at Ohio State before finding trouble with the law and spending four years in prison for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. What was once thought to be a potentially bright career in pro football became a tortured path that left Clarett trying to create a new future from his jail cell.
So Clarett had a lot of credibility when he spoke to the Florida State Seminoles on Wednesday and gave them the cold, blunt truth about some of the stupid behavior that's been going on in Tallahassee recently.
"A lot of y'all need to grow up," Clarett told the Seminoles. "That's the bottom line. What happened to Maurice Clarett in prison was, I needed to grow the f--- up. You had the world in your hands, the NFL in your hands, and you f---ed it up because you want to be a gangsta.
"There's a lot of people in this room that want to be that."
FSU has had a ton of off-field issues in the last two years, from Jameis Winston's sexual assault case to QB De'Andre Johnson being dismissed this summer after video surfaced of him punching a woman in a bar to star running back Dalvin Cook currently facing misdemeanor battery charges after allegedly punching a woman.
Clarett spoke to FSU about how bad behavior starts at a young age and can destroy a person if they aren't prepared to overcome it. "Coming from a single-parent environment, coming up in the hoods, sometimes we're undeveloped," Clarett said. "We're great football players, but we're s--- people. We don't have the skills to perform. Essentially, I was what y'all was: a national champion. How do you go from being Mr. Everything to Mr. Nothing?"
Fortunately for Clarett, now 31, he started studying business in prison and developing interests outside of football and now makes a living running packaging and transportation businesses, as well as frequently speaking to teams and organizations. His closing message to FSU: "Just stay true to who you are and to your life and your story, and tell your truth."
Aaron Torres has a feature on Clarett's quest to speak to as many programs and groups as possible about the mistakes he made and how to avoid them.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Jim Mora rips into star freshman QB Josh Rosen
UCLA freshman Josh Rosen is one of the most anticipated recruits in recent years, and many expect him to win the starting quarterback job in Westwood in his first year on campus. With a potential Pac-12 championship -- not to mention national title -- in play for the Bruins this year, that's asking a ton of Rosen. Well, Jim Mora decided to bring his freshman back down to earth at practice on Wednesday by ripping into him.
From Chris Foster's story in the Los Angeles Times:
Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, the darling of the recruiting analysts while at Bellflower St. John Bosco High, was having a good practice Wednesday morning. Then he got lackadaisical launching a Hail Mary pass during a drill at the end.
Cue Coach Jim Mora.
"You're not at ... Bellflower St. John Bosco," Mora screamed. "That's why you have not been named the starter."
Rosen threw another Hail Mary and Mora got colorfully descriptive:
"You can't hit an open receiver down field with no defense."
"The 'Anointed One.'"
"Go back to Bosco and beat some more [bad] teams."
Finally, Mora looked at the members of the media present and yelled, "Tell your readers that is why has not been named the starter."
Bruce Feldman writes here why he believes UCLA is capable of winning a national title this year with the one concern being how the QB spot plays out.
2. Have the LSU Tigers peaked?
Stewart Mandel addressed that question in his Mailbag this week, and it's interesting because LSU has clearly hit some bumps in the last couple years and has a lot to prove in 2015. Les Miles has always had massive, mauling defensive lines but it's not currently the case in Baton Rouge. Last year, LSU ranked No. 69 in rush defense at 4.32 yards per attempt. One of the first orders of business for new DL coach Ed Orgeron and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is making the Tigers nasty upfront again. Not helping defensive matters: Starting safety Jalen Mills fractured his fibula in practice and will miss 4-6 weeks.
But, hey, Leonard Fournette is still around! The latest Heisman odds from Bovada have LSU's running back ranked fifth at 7/1.
Two other injury notes: Nebraska lost a big playmaker for 6-8 weeks in De'Mornay Pierson-El (foot injury), who was tied for first nationally with three return TDs and also added another four scores at receiver. And Alabama QB Jake Coker was back at practice after missing a day for some kind of foot issue (or as Nick Saban would say, "Jake is dealing with a foot."), so the battle in Tuscaloosa can resume.
3. Jim Harbaugh is already America's best coach
That's how my colleague Joel Klatt feels, anyway. Klatt was on The Audible with Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel the other day and made his case for why he thinks Harbaugh holds an edge over Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and everyone else. It's strong stuff. Listen to the clip here:
Klatt also chimed in on Texas' toxic culture and why he doesn't know if the Longhorns will ever have success while AD Steve Patterson is still there:
* Some Virginia Tech Hokies did a nice thing by playing a pick-up game with neighborhood kids.
* Here's Kansas WR Devonte Wilson doing some really freaky athletic things.
Have a great Thursday, everyone.
Teddy Mitrosilis works in social content development at FOX Sports Digital. Follow him on Twitter @TMitrosilis and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.