The Unlikely Roomate

The Batesville Herald Tribune has a tremendously emotional story today about Colts long snapper, Matt Overton, and the role he’s played in the life of a cancer stricken teenage girl.

It’s worth a read.

But what may interest Ohio State fans is that Overton may never have been able to be there for Mia Benge, had Maurice Clarett not been there for him.

The paper recounts how Overton and Clarett played together for the Omaha Nighthawks until the team decided they needed Overton’s roster spot. Overton bitterly complained to his agent about losing out, while a convicted felon remained with the club.

Sidelined by the Nighthawks, he took a job in the team’s community relations department, but then the league folded.

He had nowhere to go.

What happened next was surprising, to say the least. As the paper explains:

To comply with the terms of his probation, Clarett also had to remain in Omaha. So he offered Overton a place to stay, and a unique friendship began. The two woke early every morning and trained all day. In part, because they literally had nothing else to do. But also because Clarett had once squandered a dream, and he couldn’t bear the thought of watching Overton give up on his.

“Realistically, he knew that he would probably never play football again,” Overton said. “And I think he got a thrill out of me striving for that because he knew that I had a legitimate shot. He really just wanted me not to give up.”

Overton did manage to make it back to the NFL, which is where he connected with Benge…who is now, despite two brain surgeries, amazingly ready to start high school.

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