Monday, August 12, 2013

ICYMI: Tyrann Mathieu could be this year's breakout NFL rookie

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Likely lost in all the excitement over Sean Payton's kind-of-sort-of return to coaching the Saints (it's still preseason, after all) was the fact that former Louisiana State University cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has been wowing people left in right while in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals.

Y'all remember the Honey Badger, don't you? His rise as a viral video sensation (Honey Badger!) and fan-favorite with the Tigers to his trouble with the law and unceremonious dismissal from the team, all were covered with incredible zeal by local and national media.

Mathieu took off a year from football and, even though he's said he doesn't want people to call him the Honey Badger any more, it appears that he hasn't given up on the Honey Badger mentality. Had Mathieu not had his run-ins with the law or been dismissed from LSU, it's possible he would've been a top-10 draft pick. Instead, he fell to the third round where the Cardinals took him with the 69th overall pick (after 11 other cornerbacks had been drafted).

Now Mathieu is garnering attention for all the right reasons, notching a sack in his first preseason game and dazzling fans and coaches alike in practice. Regardless of his past transgressions (and really, smoking pot pales in comparison to what other LSU players have been accused of doing) I always rooted for Mathieu to succeed after the hellacious childhood he endured. Now it looks like he's put himself in a position to prosper and we couldn't be happier for him (unless, of course, the Saints drafted him. Then we'd be happier.)

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