Dismissed, Kicked out and Shown the Door that’s what Tyrann Mathieu aka the Honey Badger is now thanks to his third failed drug test. He was dismissed by LSU’s Head Coach Les Miles for repeat violations for substance abuse. He certainly left an imprint on College Football and the LSU football program. Mathieu was one of the best Defensive players in country and always played til the whistle. Even at 5’9 and 175 lbs, he played like a big guy in a little guys body. You always had to be aware of his presence on the field because you’d never knew when he was going to strike. He had the rare ability to electrify fans at Death Valley on Saturday Afternoon’s and Saturday Nights.
Mathieu was a rare game changer that almost always affected the game. He could play a big role on Defense by coming on a blitz, intercepting a pass and by just simply taking the ball from the opponents hands. He also could swing the momentum of game with a punt return making the fans go insane. From the time he stepped on campus at LSU in 2010 he made noise. During his Freshman season at LSU he amassed 57 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 4.5 sacks and causing five fumbles. I remember him coming on a blitz and just crushing Texas A&M’s Quarterback and a few plays later taking the ball away from the receiver and racing up the sideline.
Last Season Mathieu had a season for ages in College Football for a Defensive player. He set the tone right away against Oregon with a strip-score on a Punt Return. A few weeks later against West Virginia while coming on a blitz, he bats the ball into the air intercepts the pass and almost scores a touchdown. The next week against Kentucky, he comes on a blitz again and knocks the Quarterback into next week scoops up the ball and runs in for a score. In the game against Arkansas he strips the ball out of the Running Back’s hands that led to a score and he put the game away with a 92 yard Punt Return Touchdown. In the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, he waved goodbye to the Georgia defenders as he swung the momentum of that game. In the end LSU ended Georgia 10 game winning streak in resounding fashion by pounding them in Atlanta and taking the SEC Championship from them.
I have to give head coach Les Miles a lot of credit by banishing Mathieu because it told all the players that no one is above the team not even our best play maker. He gave him Mathieu multiple chances and he blew it. In the end it’s Mathieu’s fault that he’s not with LSU program right now preparing for a possible run at a National Championship in 2012. It’s just another sad story with the likes of: Maurice Clarrett, Greg Reid and host of all College Athlete’s who made the wrong choices.
Mathieu was a Heisman Finalist, won the National Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year but it’s too bad we won’t get to see him at big time program like LSU this upcoming season. He’ll probably go on at a small Division 2 school and dominate the competition there and get ready for the 2013 NFL Draft. As a college football fan I’m going to miss seeing The Honey Badger making plays and thrilling the crowd on the Defensive side of the ball and on Special Teams. There was none like him and their certainly won’t be another like him.