Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu plans to announce today he is entering the next NFL draft, a source said— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) November 29, 2012
UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 29 at 11:50 a.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Tyrann Mathieu: "I am committed to tackling my personal issues and will work to better myself every day as a man first..."— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) November 29, 2012
Tyrann Mathieu: "...and only then as a football player. I will always consider myself an LSU Tiger."— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) November 29, 2012
---End of update---
Mathieu, who was also known as "Honey Badger" during his time with the Tigers, was dismissed from the program prior to the season. Head coach Les Miles would only call it a violation of team rules, but Jim Kleinpeter of The Times-Picayune reported it was due to a failed drug test.
Since that point, the contented corner entered a drug rehabilitation program and there was talk of him returning to the Tigers. He was arrested for marijuana possession last month, however, leading to further questions about his future.
Those questions have now been answered. Mathieu, who is an extremely gifted football player with tremendous upside, will take his chances in the NFL draft process.
Teams are going to have a lot of questions about his personal issues. Selecting him, especially with any type of early pick, is going to come with enormous risk given his track record. It's something Mathieu should understand already.
But he didn't really have many other options. If he didn't enter the upcoming draft, his already-plummeting stock would only have continued to head toward a crash landing as he fell further off the radar of NFL teams.
At least through the draft process he will receive an opportunity to prove he's changed for the better. All it takes is for one team to believe in him—while falling in love with his natural playmaking abilities—for him to get a chance at the next level.
He has five months to prove himself. It might be his last chance to revive his football career.