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Former OSU star Clarett hopes troubled past can keep others on positive path

Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett shared the story of his criminal past and redemption in a conversation about criminal justice reform. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett shared the story of his criminal past and redemption in a conversation about criminal justice reform.

Maurice Clarett's life has a been a roller coaster of highs and lows: from being a star college football player to being sent to prison.

Now, the former Buckeye is on a road to redemption.

"I keep it right more than I keep it wrong."

For Clarett, getting on the right track started during his three-and-a-half years in a Toledo prison where he received help for mental health and substance abuse issues.

Since getting out of prison, discipline and structure have paved the way to a comeback, but Clarett hit a bump in 2016 when he was arrested and charged with impaired driving.

"You can't really get caught up into that. The only thing you can get caught up into are things that you can control on a day to day basis."

One thing Clarett can control is his personal story. He shared it during a conversation about smart on crime policies in the criminal justice system.

The U.S. Justice Action Network organized the conversation called, Smart Justice.

"We're putting too many people behind bars for too long and we're throwing up obstacles to their successful return to society,” said Holly Harris, executive director for the U.S. Justice Action Network.

The conversation explored solutions to the criminal justice system. Clarett is a motivational speaker. The message he shares with others is one that starts with himself.

"The only thing you can control is that day. Control what you can control and don't worry about the rest."

Clarett is focused on his non-profit based out of Youngstown called The Redzone, which helps people with a variety of issues including substance abuse and mental health issues.

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