ESPN’s "Youngstown Boys" Tells Maurice Clarett’s Story as Clarett Wanted It Told

“Youngstown Boys,” the newest installment of ESPN’s esteemed 30 for 30 documentary series, premiered Saturday night following the 2013 Heisman Trophy ceremony.
While the documentaries consistently draw national audiences for their intriguing storylines and high quality, Saturday’s film was of considerable interest to the Ohio State community. It set out to tell the story of two former Buckeyes greats, running back Maurice Clarett and coach Jim Tressel, from their rises to fame in northeast Ohio to their glory and subsequent downfalls in Columbus.
Or at least that was how it was promoted. Though the pluralized title of the film and the hype leading up to it gave the impression that it would delve into detail about the stories of both men, it focused on Clarett. Tressel was an important character in that story as the head coach of OSU, but the film’s inclusion of Tressel came within the context of Clarett’s story.
As for the story of Clarett’s rise and fall, it was well assembled by the film’s directors, brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist.
One of my favorite parts about the film was its use of various footage, from game highlights to press conferences, to capture the emotion from the championship to the controversy.
I appreciated that the highlight package shown from the 2002 OSU-Michigan game was assembled entirely of video and audio clips from the game itself, not littered with retold stories of the game. Footage of that season’s BCS National…

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