Tyrann Mathieu’s LSU career might not be over just yet, with his father telling ESPN on Thursday that his son will not play football in 2012.
Kicked off the LSU team two weeks ago for reportedly failing multiple drug tests, Mathieu received interest from several non-BCS teams for which he could have played immediately. But he has since entered a drug and alcohol recovery center in Houston, where he is working with former NBA player and coach John Lucas at the Right Step program.
”Tyrann is working on discipline, maturity and character. He’s making life adjustments,” Tyrone Mathieu told ESPN.
That echoes the sentiment the elder Mathieu told a New Orleans television station last week.
CBSSports.com columnist Bruce Feldman reported last week that Mathieu is specifically at the facility to treat marijuana issues. Gannett News Services reported Mathieu would have had to fail at least four drug tests to be dismissed from the team.
Mathieu would technically be eligible to enter the 2013 NFL Draft since he will be three years removed from high school, but he’s expected to focus on his rehab and likely attempt to rejoin the LSU program next year.
The SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, Mathieu remains a polarizing prospect for NFL scouts. Listed at 5-feet-9 and 178 pounds, Mathieu certainly lacks the size scouts prefer. While he’s instinctive, tenacious and has proven to be a standout against the best college football players in the country over his first two seasons, many question how well he’d handle the adjustment to the greater size and speed he’d face in the NFL.
Others cite the hybrid roles he played at LSU and argue that he could play in a similar capacity in the ever-evolving defensive schemes gaining in popularity in the NFL.