The Honey Badger. An animal many of us did not know of until the 2011 college football season thanks to Tyrann Mathieu. An animal known for its ferocious nature, tough skin, and defensive instincts, the nickname of Honey Badger fit Mathieu perfectly.
Last season, Tyrann Mathieu was an electric weapon in LSU‘s secondary and return game. Whenever his team was down, Mathieu put his team on his back and found a way to spark his teammates back to victory. The nation took notice of his talent as he was named a Heisman Trophy finalist and was awarded the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player.
However, Tyrann Mathieu will have to find another team to electrify after being dismissed from Tigers on Friday afternoon.
Tigers coach Les Miles announced Friday afternoon in a last minute press conference that the star cornerback was being dismissed from the team due to a rules violation. Speculation is that his dismissal was due to a failed drug test. Mathieu had missed one game during last season due to a violation of the team’s drug policy.
Where will Tyrann Mathieu play this season after being dismissed?
Multiple sources as well as Mathieu’s former teammate, kicker Josh Jasper, believe that the talented cornerback will take his talents to McNeese State, a FCS level school. Unlike transferring to a FBS level school and having to sit out a year, the Honey Badger would be eligible to play for the Cowboys immediately. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that McNeese State visited Tyrann Mathieu to discuss transferring to their program.
The Cowboys were recently ranked No.27 by the 2012 Phil Steele FCS College Football Preview Magazine. They also finished 6-5 last season and were picked to finish fourth in the Southland Conference by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors. If they were to add the Honey Badger, McNeese State would surely improve on their preseason rankings.
If Mathieu were to transfer to the school, his situation would be comparable to that of former Florida Gators star defensive back, Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins was dismissed from the Gators and transferred to North Alabama to rebuild his life and draft stock. He was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft after dominating at the FCS level.
Tyrann Mathieu’s draft stock has surely fallen after this incident but perhaps a fresh start at a new school is exactly what he needs. Honey Badger’s are supposed to be resilient creatures. We will soon learn if Mathieu is as resilient as his namesake.
Chris Lionetti covers the Southeastern Conference as a College Football Writer for Rant Sports
Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisLionetti