Clarett gives scouts a look

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 6, 2004

COLUMBUS - Maurice Clarett ran, jumped, lifted weights and caught footballs for the first time for pro scouts on Monday. By and large, they came away impressed.

"Obviously he's going to be a bellcow for somebody - he's got that type of ability," said former NFL fullback Tom Rathman, who represented the Detroit Lions. "It's just a matter of him developing as a football player."

Clarett and two other former Ohio State teammates met privately with scouts at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Clarett had declined to work out at the NFL combine in February, so this was the first time scouts had seen the 20-year-old who could force his way into the draft later this month.

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Clarett weighed in at 230 pounds, exactly his playing weight when he last took the field for the Buckeyes 15 months ago. He had times of 4.66, 4.63 and 4.67 seconds in his three 40-yard dashes, a standing long jump of 9 feet, 5 inches and a vertical jump of 36.5 inches. He lifted 225 pounds 19 times.

Almost every NFL team sent a scout. Clarett was joined in some of the drills by cornerback/wide receiver Chris Gamble and wide-out Drew Carter, who were Clarett's teammates on Ohio State's 2002 national championship team.

Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards and scored 16 touchdowns - both freshman records at Ohio State - while leading the Buckeyes to a 14-0 record in 2002.