Ex-Ohio State Star Clarett Granted Early Release

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Former Ohio State football player Maurice Clarett was granted an early release request on Wednesday afternoon and was ordered to report to a community-based correction facility in Columbus for the next five years.

Clarett served more than 3 1/2 years in the Toledo Correctional Institution for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, 10TV News reported.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David Fais ordered Clarett to be transferred to a halfway house for 4-6 months, and then report to community control.  Fais said that as long as Clarett does not get into any trouble, he would end his sentence in five years, 10TV's Jerry Revish reported.

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According to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, Clarett has behaved in prison so he would not protest the early release request.

Clarett told Fais the most important thing he has learned during his incarceration was how to be a good father.

"About the things I did learn about myself I would say I had a lack of character in the past," Clarett said. "Since I've been incarcerated I've educated myself and learned to develop characteristics that will help me be a great father and a great individual that will contribute to society."

Clarett's mother, Michelle Clarett, said she has high hopes for her son.

"Everyday Maurice is learning more knowledge of himself and is growing, so my hope of course is the sky's the limit and I just want him to continue to grow as a person and a productive person in the community," she said.

Clarett was the starting tailback on Ohio State's 2002 football team that went undefeated and won the national championship. He never played a game for the Buckeyes after the 2002 season.

He was a third-round draft choice by the Denver Broncos in 2005 but never saw action in a regular-season game.

On Jan. 1, 2006, Clarett was charged with aggravated robbery after police said he flashed a gun at people outside a bar and robbed them of a cell phone. Then, on Aug. 9, Clarett was arrested after a chase when police said that they tried to stop him for a traffic violation.

O'Brien's office said that Clarett had an AK-47 weapon with 35 live rounds in the magazine and three pistols in his vehicle. He was wearing a bulletproof vest. Investigators also found an open bottle of Grey Goose vodka and a hatchet. He was arrested about one mile away from the house of the robbery victims.

Clarett said he wants to return to Ohio State to finish his degree. He said he has not ruled out the possibility of returning to football.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

April 6, 2010:  Ex-Ohio State Player Clarett To Leave Prison
February 9, 2010:  Judge To Decide Maurice Clarett Early Release Request
August 5, 2009:  Clarett Withdraws Clemency Request
June 18, 2009:  Clarett Asks Governor For Pardon