Move to McNeese State Could Pay off for Mathieu

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVAugust 11, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03:  Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after earning the MVP trophy in their 42-10 win over the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2011 SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It hasn't been too promising of a week for Tyrann Mathieu, who has seen his name shift from talks of the Heisman Trophy to ones of major disappointment after he was dismissed Friday from LSU's football team (per Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated).

But his reported interest in McNeese State (via Bruce Feldman of CBS) could end up saving Mathieu's career, and the Honey Badger will go on to do great things in the NFL. 

After being suspended and subsequently dismissed by Les Miles, Mathieu was unable to join another FBS team and have the opportunity to compete for the BCS national title that he came so close to winning last season as a sophomore. 

McNeese State, which plays in the Southland Conference, isn't exactly in elite company in the FCS, as the Cowboys finished 2011 with a 6-5 record.

But the proximity to home will greatly help Mathieu.

It's obvious that Mathieu needs to get his personal life and behavior in order if he wants any chance at making it to the NFL, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so. While having to leave LSU must sting and will always haunt him, the pressure of returning after yet another reported violation of team rules would have been too much of a distraction.

Headlines will undoubtedly follow Mathieu to McNeese State, if he so chooses to go there, but he'll be away from the negative spotlight for the most part and will be able to focus on becoming a team-first player that makes the right decisions off the field. 

Staying in Louisiana is big for Mathieu. It's the only state he's ever lived in, and staying around his family and in his comfort zone will help aid his maturation process.

As long as Mathieu comes into his role at McNeese State with the right mentality to learn about becoming a standup person off the field and in the locker room, he'll become a high draft pick in the 2013 NFL draft and will go on to do great things with his unique skill set. 

This is the sort of situation that can do one of two things: Either it can be a major growing pain in the maturation of a young superstar, or it can prove to be too insurmountable a task for a player who maybe just doesn't have what it takes to be a person who puts ample value on good decisions.

Mathieu may not be the most well-put-together college player, but he's won the hearts of enough people through his electrifying play to receive a great deal of mentoring.

With the Honey Badger's massive potential, he'll have no problem getting the advice that he needs and will become a much more mature human being through this adverse series of events.


Steven Cook is a Breaking News writer and Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter to chat about all things college football.