Former LSU Tigers defensive back Tyrann Mathieu had a rough 2012 after being at his height of popularity. The man who became known as “The Honey Badger” was loved by college football fans all across the nation, but his drug abuse caused everything he had going for him to come crashing down.
Mathieu was booted from the LSU football team after numerous failed drug tests and it has left him picking up the pieces of his once known fame.
Now that the 2013 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, Mathieu is taking all of the necessary steps to show those around him and NFL teams that he is still destined for success on the field at the next level.
Mathieu is reportedly undergoing regular drug tests in an effort to show that he is drug free and the demons that caused his downfall are a thing of the past. Mathieu’s representation has promised that he will have had 32 clean drug tests leading up to April’s draft.
On top of the regular drug testing, Mathieu has been training with former teammate and current Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson. Through his preparation, Mathieu has bulked up to 182 pounds and he has shown his dedication towards bettering himself personally and as a player.
“I only have one more shot,” Mathieu said, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “This is my last chance. I don’t have any more after this, or I can’t get accepted to the NFL. This is truly my last shot, it’s all I’ve got.
“I think people understand that. You can’t keep making the same mistakes and I understand that and accept the responsibility. I’m a better person, in a better spirit and much better place right now. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, I feel great in all aspects of my life.
“In time they’ll forgive me, trust me again. I’m not looking for them to trust me today or tomorrow. It may be two years from now but they will grow to trust me again.”
Mathieu is currently training in Arizona with hopes of receiving an invitation to the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine and putting his talents on display once again. There is no denying his talent that led him to be named a member of the All-American team and a Heisman finalist his final year with LSU.
With his life on the right track, Mathieu is once again hopeful that he can achieve his ultimate goal of suiting up for a NFL franchise.
“There’s no doubt I can make a career in the NFL,” Mathieu said. “My first goal is to be honest and open, answer any questions as honestly as I could. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be back in front of cameras and back on the turf, back around football players, guys I need to be around.
“It’s different. It feels good. I’m not playing football but I feel really great about myself right now. I don’t need anybody else’s opinion. I know I’m living good, I know I’m living right, and doing the right things.”
If Mathieu can rehab his image, he could work his way up to a second or third-round pick. There are numerous examples of troubled players turning their lives around and reaching NFL success in the past, and Mathieu wants to be the latest example that it is never too late to get on the right track.
Many will remove Mathieu from their draft boards because of his troubled past, but I will take him for his word and believe that he is taking all of the necessary steps to put himself in position to succeed.
I am rooting for Mathieu.
He’s a talented player that will bring value to a NFL team if he can stay clean, and his plan is to do just that and prove all of his doubters wrong while becoming a success story that many young men will be able to look back on and draw some inspiration from.