Data Scout Notes: 2012: NA/Multiple Off-field issues...Dismissed from LSU...P1stC-CB&KR/P1stM-CB&KR/PWCamp/PThorpe/PNagurski/PBednarik...2011: HeismanTrophyFinalist/BednarikWinner/BednarikFinalist/1stC/1stAP/APDPOY/P2ndC/PBednarik...2010: NA
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Tyrann Mathieu Cornerback Louisiana State University #7 5-9, 275 New Orleans St. Augustine High School
A New Orleans native, Mathieu arrived at LSU as the No. 13-ranked cornerback prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. In two seasons on the field, Mathieu was a fan favorite with a penchant for big plays in critical situations before off-field issues derailed his college career.
He made an immediate impact as a freshman in 2010, earning the backup job to Patrick Peterson in fall practices and playing in all 13 games, including one start at left cornerback. He led the SEC with five forced fumbles - the first glimpse at Mathieu's big-play flair. Despite his 5-foot-9 frame, Mathieu had a team-high seven pass break-ups as a freshman to go along with 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and a pair of interceptions.
Mathieu closed out his first season in Baton Rouge by earning the Cotton Bowl Defensive Most Outstanding Player award by recording seven tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, one sack and one pass breakup.
Nicknamed "Honey Badger," Mathieu burst onto the national scene in 2011. He led the team with 70 tackles, forced an SEC-best six fumbles and recovered five.
Mathieu's big-play ability was also evident on punt returns, as he ranked second in the nation with a 16.2-yard return. He was named the SEC Championship Game MVP against Georgia after he returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown, posted four solo tackles and recovered a fumble.
Mathieu earned a trip to New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first Tiger to earn an invitation to the ceremony since Charles Alexander in 1977. He also won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defender as year after Peterson won the honor.
Poised to build on that success in 2012, Mathieu was abruptly dismissed from the LSU program Aug. 10 for violating team policy - reportedly for multiple failed drug tests.
"This is a very difficult day for our team," LSU head coach Les Miles said. "We lose a quality person, teammate and contributor to the program. However, with that being said, we have a standard that our players are held to and when that standard is not met, there are consequences. "It's hard because we all love Tyrann. We will do what we can as coaches, teammates, and friends to get him on a path where he can have success. We are going to miss him."
Mathieu considered transferring to McNeese State and visited the school, but ultimately enrolled at LSU for the fall semester after a brief stay in a drug rehabilitation center.
Mathieu and three other former LSU football players - Jordan Jefferson, Karnell Hatcher and Derrick Bryant - were arrested Oct. 25 after police found drug-related materials in Mathieu's apartment along with marijuana. Mathieu was booked on charges of simple possession of marijuana and later released.
NFL scouts who were encouraged by Mathieu's decision to meet daily with former NBA player and head coach John Lucas, who battled drug addiction in the past, now had more off-field issues to weigh.
NFLDraftScout.com had projected him as a top-40 pick before his suspension. His value will depend on how teams judge his explanation of his off-field missteps.
Positives: Plays bigger than his size. Doesn't back from the physical challenge of lining up opposite taller wideouts and is actually more effective the closer he is to the line of scrimmage, demonstrating stellar instincts and awareness to avoid blocks and make plays in close quarters. Possesses excellent lateral agility and acceleration which gives him the ability to close quickly on the ball. Is a tenacious defender with strong, active hands to rip the ball away. Excellent ball skills. Minimizes his natural height disadvantage by timing his leap well in jump-ball situations and competing throughout the catch process, ripping away at the ball as he and the intended receiver are descending. Naturally plucks the ball out of the air and secures it quickly. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Quick feet, fluid hips and a legitimate second gear make him very effective in coverage, especially on shorter routes. Dynamic returner with a flair for the dramatic. Has demonstrated the ability to play well on the big stage against elite competition.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height for the position and is quicker than he is fast, making him susceptible on longer throws. Highly aggressive and will bite on underneath routes. Possesses the suddenness to make up for a miss-step but does not have the elite straight-line speed to recover against a well-executed double-move and accurate pass. Trusts his instincts too much and can put his teammates in difficult positions by drifting to where he anticipates the quarterback will be going with the football. As such, cerebral NFL quarterbacks will be able to manipulate him with their eyes and potentially beat him over the top with accurate deep passes. Has a well-documented history of poor decisions off the field that could result in even more struggles given the money and notoriety he'll receive as an NFL player.
Compares To: Antoine Winfield, CB, Minnesota Vikings -- Like the 5-09, 180 pound Winfield, Mathieu has Pro Bowl potential due to his tenacity, instincts and physicality.
Leads the team in tackles with 70 ... Ranks first in the SEC in forced fumbles with six and fumbles recovered with five ... Ranks No. 1 nationally in fumble recoveries and is tied for third in forced fumbles ... Ranks second in the SEC and second nationally in punt return average at 16.2 a return ... Named the SEC Championship Game MVP against Georgia after he returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown, finished with 119 return yards, posted four solo tackles and recovered a fumble ... Received Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors after he posted eight solo tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery against Arkansas in his first career start at safety ... Also returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown against the Razorbacks, which equals the third-longest punt return in school history ... Missed the Auburn game for a violation of team rules ... Picked off his second pass of the season and added six tackles and one TFL against Florida ... Showed his game-changing abilities again versus Kentucky as he forced two fumbles, recovered and returned one for a 23-yard touchdown and posted an eight-yard sack ... Named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after he came up big once again at West Virginia with a forced fumble that he recovered and an interception on a pass he tipped and returned to the WVU 1-yard line ... Leading tackler for LSU at Mississippi State with a career-high tying 10 stops, nine of which were solo, and one TFL ... All over the field against Northwestern State with four tackles, 1.5 TFLs, one PBU, one QB hurry and he combined with Sam Montgomery to record LSU's first sack of the season ... Picked up where he left off in 2010 by recording a career-high and team-leading 10 tackles in the season opener against Oregon and also forced a fumble on a punt that returned for a touchdown ... Earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week, Rivals.com SEC Player of the Week and the Thorpe Award Defensive Back of the Week honors after his phenomenal performance against Oregon in which he also added a half tackle for a loss and two pass breakups.
Dismissed from the LSU program, reportedly for multiple failed drug tests.
Made an immediate impact as a true freshman, serving as a reserve cornerback and as the nickel back ... Played in all 13 games with one start at left cornerback against Louisiana-Monroe ... Ranked first in the SEC and fifth nationally with five forced fumbles and tied for first in the conference in fumble recoveries with three ... Led the team with seven pass breakups ... Fourth on the team in tackles with 57 ... Was an absolute playmaker on the season with 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions ... Earned Cotton Bowl Defensive Most Outstanding Player award after the best game of his young career in which he recorded seven tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, one sack and one pass breakup ... Narrowly missed his career high in tackles with eight at Arkansas to go along with a sack and two tackles for loss ... Credited with six tackles, 0.5 TFL, one pass breakup that led to an interception and one QB hurry versus Ole Miss ... Recorded four tackles and one PBU versus Alabama, and his PBU led to Kelvin Sheppard's interception ... Tremendous effort at Florida where he recorded two solo stops, forced a fumble that he recovered and broke up a pass ... Made his first career interception and his first career fumble recovery against West Virginia ... Was great against Mississippi State as he tallied four tackles, one six-yard sack, a forced fumble and a PBU ... Outstanding in his first game as a Tiger, recording nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and a forced fumble in the opener against North Carolina ... Showed great instincts and knowledge of the game during the fall and earned the No. 2 spot at right cornerback behind Patrick Peterson.
2012: The Heisman Trophy finalist was suspended and fast-rising NFL prospect was suspended for this season after failing an August drug test, and entered a treatment program. He was arrested last month with three former teammates on a possession of marijuana charge. Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were later released. In a Baton Rouge police report, officers said they were responding to a complaint about a man trying to force his way through a security gate at the apartment complex where Mathieu lives. A resident let in the man, later identified as Jefferson. He was seen going into an apartment before officers arrived. Police said Mathieu answered the door and officers obtained permission to search after smelling marijuana. Officers found a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana, police wrote in a news release.
One of the top defensive back prospects in the state ... A member of the Rivals 250 and rated as the 13th-best cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com ... Rated the No. 9 prospect in the state of Louisiana by Rivals.com ... Named to the New Orleans Times-Picayune 2010 Blue-Chip List, the Baton Rouge Advocate Super Dozen and the Mobile Press Register Super Southeast 120 ... Also a SuperPrep All-American ... Participant in the inaugural Team USA vs. The World game ... Recorded 32 tackles, five interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery as a senior ... Coached by David Johnson.
Full name is Tyrann D. Mathieu ... Born May 13, 1992, in New Orleans, La. ... Parents are Tyrone and Sheila Mathieu ... Has four siblings - Tyrone, Devon, Corey and Kerry.
Draft Scout Player News
10/20/17 - S Tyrann Mathieu got a chance to watch an English rugby team practice since the Cardinals have been sharing the same practice fields this week in London. The Honey Badger can't imagine playing football without pads, however. "I played sandlot football growing up a lot, but we were 80 pounds back then," Mathieu said. "So, I can't imagine somebody, 240 (pounds), hitting me without any pads on. I'm pretty sure I'd be on IR (injured reserve)."
10/04/17 - S Tyrann Mathieu finished Sunday's game with a season-high 11 tackles (all solo), a sack, two tackles for losses and a quarterback hit.
09/18/17 - S Tyrann Mathieu couldn't have picked a better moment for his first interception since Oct. 17 of last season against the Jets.
His pick of a Jacoby Brissett pass Sunday on the first play from scrimmage in overtime helped set up Phil Dawson's game-winning field goal.
09/17/17 - FS Tyrann Mathieu intercepted a pass by Indianapolis QB Jacoby Brissett at the Colts 22 on the first play of overtime, setting up the Cardinals' win. "When you lose, say nothing," Mathieu said. "When you win, say less."
01/04/17 - S Tyrann Mathieu said no amount of injuries, be it the two torn ACLs he already has experienced since joining the NFL in 2013 or the shoulder problem that ended up this season short, could make him depressed enough to fall off the wagon and start smoking marijuana again.
"No, no, no," he said. "I've never been tempted. I never really had any urges to go back and use or do anything to put my career in jeopardy. It was just more emotional, just me feeling down, depressed. But no way, man. Once you go through something like that and you experience the worst of it, you know you don't want to go down that dark road ever again."