Tyrann Mathieu: 3 Reasons LSU's Honey Badger Is Legit 2011 Heisman Front-Runner
It is not often that a defensive player gets invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy award show, but that is exactly what LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has accomplished this season.
The Honey Badger, as he is called, is one of the most dynamic and explosive players in the game this year and many people think he could take home the award to Baton Rouge.
Here are the three main reasons why Mathieu should at least be considered a front-runner for the Heisman
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Mathieu is essentially just a collection of big plays and he has been doing it ever since he stepped out onto the field in gold and purple. He has two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and has forced a whopping six fumbles, which brings his career totals to an absolutely incredible four interceptions, six fumble recoveries and 10 forced fumbles. He returned two of them for touchdowns. The Honey Badger really does take what he wants.
And he has also made a name for himself on special teams this season, having the second-best punt return average in the country, including returning two for touchdowns in the past two games. Any time the ball comes near him, opponents need to worry about what will happen.
He Plays for LSU
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In recent years the Heisman has gone to the best player on the best team, and there is no question LSU is the best team in college football this year. The Tigers are the only undefeated team in the country and had to beat eight ranked teams in order to get there, five of which came away from home.
It may not be what some people want, but Mathieu has played an integral role in many of these games, especially game-changing punt returns the last two weeks of the season when his team started off slowly.
Plenty of “Heisman Moments”
The Heisman should go to the player who is constantly outstanding on the field, but for many voters there is a new criterion: having a “Heisman moment” that leaves fans in awe. Mathieu has had a Heisman moment in nearly every big game he has played in.
If you had to pick one, it would probably be his punt return against Arkansas that completely shifted the momentum of the game. He made three guys miss with one cutback and blew by the rest of the Razorback coverage unit to stop them from jumping out to more than a 14-0 lead. After that play, LSU outscored the then-No. 3 team in the country an incredible 27-3.