Tyrann Mathieu, college football’s most electrifying playmaker from the 2011 season, plans to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft, according to a report by ESPN’s Joe Schad. During the “Honey Badger’s” breakout 2011 campaign, he accounted for six forced fumbles on defense and two special teams touchdowns to finish as a Heisman Trophy finalist, while helping LSU to the BCS National Championship game.
If you’re curious as to why Mathieu was 2011′s most exciting player and not this season’s–and if you lived under a rock for the entirety of the 2012 college football season–it’s because Mathieu was kicked off LSU’s squad in August after failing a drug test. He later poo-pooed transferring to a smaller school to play immediately before re-enrolling at LSU for classes and sitting out the season. Mathieu’s troubles in the past several months have only continued, as he was arrested for marijuana possession in late October.
True, it’s only a little bit of buddha, but NFL scouts will grill the shit out of the former Tiger’s rap sheet when evaluating his draft stock–not to mention his year out of football. However, that could provide teams a chance to steal him in a later round, even if scouts think he comes with considerable baggage. Don’t count him out, though. If the kid can straighten out his life in the time leading up to the draft, then maybe the NFL’s a step in the right direction for talent that’s been left unfulfilled.