Last week LSU was voted the No. 1 team preseason in the nation. A week later, LSU has lost its best player, announcing yesterday that All-American cornerback and 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu has been booted from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules another failed drug test, the same offense that reportedly cost him playing time last year.
“Tyrann Mathieu is no longer on our team. He violated team policies,” head coach Les Miles said at a press conference. “He gave us a lot of examples that we can learn from and I think that he’s a quality, quality guy who had a behavior issue and that’s it.” Athletic director Joe Alleva said Mathieu would be allowed to stay at LSU as a student, provided he pay tuition, but conceded, “He’s not going to stay in school.”
On his Twitter feed, Mathieu wrote, “The realist hearts have been through the most pain!! I’m out!!”
Mathieu has two years of eligibility left and could will transfer, but he would have to sit out this season if he went to another school in major college football. If he moved down a level, to FCS, he could play right away. Although there has been no official announcement, the word is that Mathieu is now considering enrolling at McNeese State where he could play immediately. Mathieu did visit McNeese State on Friday night, however, Mathieu left without a commitment. The Times-Picayune has reported that Mathieu also is considering Jackson State and Prairie View A&M after ruling out Southern because he wants to leave Baton Rouge, La.
Last October, the “Honey Badger” was suspended for one game against Auburn, allegedly following a failed drug test. For the season, he finished as the leading tackler for the No. 2 defense in the nation in both yards and points allowed, including 7.5 tackles for loss, and forced more takeaways on his team (two interceptions, six fumbles), a team that finished second in the nation in turnover margin. Mathieu was also fourth in the nation in punt return yards, and led the nation with four non-offensive touchdowns. Last year as a sophomore he was a unanimous All-American finished fifth in Heisman voting, was awarded the Bednarik Trophy as the best defensive player in the nation.
Despite starting just one game as a true freshman, in 2010 Mathieu recorded 57 tackles, 8.5 of them for loss, and generated seven turnovers (five forced fumbles, two interceptions). The Freshman All-American closed out his grand entrance by being voted Most Valuable Player in the Cotton Bowl.
All signs point to the “Honey Badger” taking his act to Division II football for the 2012 season and there is no doubt that he’ll enter the 2013 NFL Draft after his junior season. It won’t be long before we find out what NFL teams think about him, but my guess is that you’ve already heard the best of whatever on-field heroics this kid had in his bag-o-tricks. What a shame…