Of the many stories heading into the NFL Draft, one surrounds a familiar theme with a once recognizable face. The tale of the star athlete who succumb to a life of drugs and ruined his NFL career in the process isn’t new, but in 2013 ex-LSU Tigers star Tyrann Mathieu is the face of the story and he’s admitting that his foolish past has cost him millions of dollars.
The former All-American was kicked off LSU’s football team this year before the season started and spiraled out of control. Mathieu’s drug habit was the issue that caused him to be banned from playing football and was the reason he dropped out of school to attend rehab. However in October, months after apologizing and attending rehab, Mathieu was arrested for possession of Marijuana and it appeared as though he’d never get his act together.
Despite all the hardships, Mahtieu declared for the NFL Draft and told scouts that he hasn’t used pot or drugs of any kind since his arrest back in October of 2012.
“I’ve been to rehab. I’ve been to counseling. I have a sponsor,” he said Sunday. “I’m surrounding myself with people who want to do what I want to do, which is be a football player. To go back down that road? Not a chance in this world. Not a chance in this lifetime. I’ve got to be the best person that Tyrann can be.”
Mathieu said that he lost “millions” due to his drug use, not because he was spending that much but because his use derailed what could have been a college career that led to a first round draft selection. Right not Mathieu is projected as a mid-third round pick.
“A lot of the things that I put before football, was really not fun anymore without football,” he said. “So once I get football back in my life, I want to approach things a little bit different and hopefully have a better outcome.”
There’s a good chance Mathieu slips in the draft due to his character issues but he’s going to be drafted at some point in April. When he was still as LSU he displayed the skills teams look for in a top notch defensive back, as Mathieu made plays, tormented offenses and was even one of the country’s best kick returners — both in college and in the NFL.
So at the very least he’ll be drafted as a return specialist, but chances are someone takes a chance on the young man in an attempt to set his life straight and get a potential steal in the draft.