With failed drug tests and now possible NCAA rule violations under his belt the Honey Badger should cut his ties with college football and move on to the NFL in April of 2013.
The former LSU cornerback was already one of the best players in the NCAA last season, earning consensus All-American honors, winning the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and the Chuck Bednarik Award and being named a finalist for the Heisman trophy as a true sophomore. If Mathieu had the option of leaving for the NFL after last season, he would have been a likely first- or second-round pick.
His third year out of high school has been a disaster. He was dismissed from the LSU football team after reportedly failing repeated drug tests and went to rehab rather than playing for a sub-FBS school. Mathieu chose to attend LSU as a student with hopes to still play in 2013. Now that news has come out that he possibly broke NCAA rules by allowing his image on a dance-club flyer, he might as well just write off the rest of his LSU career.
Mathieu chose wisely to take a year off from football rather than play at a lower level. He's got all of the game tape he needs to prove his craft from his freshman and sophomore years, and playing against lower competition is a lose-lose situation. You're held at a higher standard and if you struggle it looks worse and if you succeed, some will still say, "so what?"
There's a very recent case of a high-profile cornerback getting kicked out of an SEC school for drug allegations. Janoris Jenkins was dismissed from Florida after two drug-related arrests and one for assault. Jenkins was drafted with the 39th overall pick by the Rams in the 2011 draft, lower than if he had been able to stay at Florida, but still a respectable position.
Mathieu could be drafted in a similar spot, even without a year at a Division II school — Jenkins played one year at North Alabama. Mathieu can continue to train even if he can't practice, and won't learn any bad techniques playing against lower competition. Mathieu and Jenkins are different players, but similar talents. Jenkins was more known for his speed and shutdown ability outside, while Mathieu is known for his big playmaking ability, quickness and instincts.
Another year at LSU in 2013 would just mean more possibility for injuries, arrests and trouble overall. If Mathieu keeps himself clean, impresses in interviews, admits his mistakes and has a strong combine and NFL workouts, he could still find himself taken in the first two days of the draft.
Photo via Facebook/TyrannMathieu
Where's Lloyd Christmas? Jeff Daniels sang "God Bless America" at the Yankees-Tigers game Tuesday night.
"Whoever this Matt Millen guy is, I’d like to ask him if he could do
what we do every day and do what we do for 16 games a year and see if he
can hold up every game. I doubt he would. I doubt he would be able to
consistently play at a high level as [NaVorro] Bowman and I do. I really don’t
care about what this guy has to say."
—Patrick Willis on Matt Millen, who played in the NFL at the exact same position as Willis and Bowman
A's pitcher Brett Anderson may not be pitching in the playoffs, but he hasn't lost his sense of humor. While his and everyone else's Twitter feeds were being filled with debate tweets, the lefty wanted to get in on the action.
— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson49) October 17, 2012
Petiola Manu knees Makenzie Clark in the face during a Utah high school soccer game. Ouch.