LSU Football: Meet Tyrone Mathieu, Heisman Trophy Candidate

Colby LanhamCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2011

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 24: Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the Louisiana State University Tigers intercepts a pass against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the game on September 24, 2011 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The LSU Tigers have become one of the biggest hits in all of college football this season, exceeding their already stellar expectations. They have jumped all the way to the top spot in the college football polls, doing it all with a back up quarterback in Jarrett Lee.

But, what has pushed LSU to the top spot among all 120  FBS teams is their solid play on defense, with a stellar playmaker in corner-back Tyrone Mathieu. Mathieu has gained a fair amount of attention as we come across the halfway point in the college football season. Mathieu has gained so much attention that his name has become associated with two words: Heisman Trophy.

Mathieu has made plenty of noise on an already noisy LSU defense that is among the best in the SEC. Mathieu is the leader of this LSU defense, including the leader in tackles, interceptions and on special teams, in punt return yards as well.

Mathieu has the ability to become a very dangerous threat for opposing offenses through the air, and in the pass first football world we live in today, that is a very beautiful thing for a stingy LSU defense. 

The thing working against him is the mere fact that he plays on defense, and there has only been one defensive player to win the Heisman: Charles Woodson, formerly of Michigan. But if Woodson's career after his Heisman campaign is any indication of the potential for Mathieu, the sky's the limit for this young man to do great things as a playmaker.