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Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

this is a discussion within the College Community Forum; Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says an October arrest for possession of marijuana is what enabled him to finally become honest with himself and turn a corner in his life. Mathieu, who has been training for the NFL draft at ...

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Old 01-06-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
 
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Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says an October arrest for possession of marijuana is what enabled him to finally become honest with himself and turn a corner in his life.

Mathieu, who has been training for the NFL draft at a facility not far from where Monday's Discover BCS National Championship will be played, spoke with ESPN this week about his drug problem, self discovery and hitting rock bottom.

"Sitting in that jail cell, it clicked," an emotional Mathieu said. "Looking at those people, just staring at me. 'You don't belong in here.' They wanted to come through the jail cell and get me. I'm scared now. Because it's reality now. I don't ever want to feel like this again. I'm not going to feel like this again."

One year ago, Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy finalist, preparing for a national championship game. Since then everything has changed. In August he was dismissed from the LSU team for a failed drug test, and an arrest and a missed football season have followed.


Sitting in that jail cell, it clicked. ... I don't ever want to feel like this again. I'm not going to feel like this again.

-- Tyrann Mathieu
Mathieu has many regrets. And he believes his poor performance in last year's BCS Championship Game was a factor in his marijuana issue.

Because last year's title game loss to Alabama was played in New Orleans -- near where he was raised -- Mathieu said he was distracted.

"I remember worrying about me playing in my hometown and showing up and damn, I don't think I'm going to show up," he said. "I hope I show up. I hope I have a game like I did against Georgia or Auburn. And it really took me out of my preparation for the game. I didn't give up a touchdown but I gave up four or five passes. Passes when I knew they were going to run that route. I mean, I knew they were going to run that route. But I didn't prepare myself. I was worried about everything outside the game."

If he had to do it over, Mathieu said, "I would have shut my phone off. I would have stayed in my hotel room."

Not staying at home is a mistake Mathieu, 20, says he's made too often.

It was in August when the immensely popular Mathieu -- nicknamed "The Honey Badger" because of an ultra-aggressive on-field demeanor overshadowing his 5-foot-9 stature -- was dismissed from the Tigers team because of failed drug tests.

"Devastating," Mathieu said, tears flowing. "It's all I had. Football. And to think back on it, as I told you, for the BCS game, I abused myself. I took it out on myself. So many people were trying to help me. Coach Miles, he was basically like my LSU father. And our head trainer, Shelly (Mullenix), was like my mother at LSU. Those people did everything for me. All they wanted was for Tyrann to make a play. They just wanted me to show up. I prepared myself so hard in the spring and summer just to let everyone down."

Mathieu said he used marijuana as a way to deal with problems on and off the field.

"I'd tell the world I abused myself though marijuana," Mathieu said. "I abused myself through marijuana. Was I addicted to it? Maybe. Did I form a habit of it? Yes. When people didn't think I had a good game or I didn't have the greatest practice ever, I didn't go into the office and try to figure out what was going on. I just automatically abused myself."

When Miles informed him in a 5:30 a.m. meeting that "you can't be a part of our family anymore" Mathieu said he began sobbing. He asked a school official to notify his parents because he couldn't bring himself to do it.


I abused myself through marijuana. Was I addicted to it? Maybe. Did I form a habit of it? Yes.

-- Tyrann Mathieu
"There was nothing anybody could do at that point," Mathieu said, crying. "I had to accept the responsibility that I was never going to play for LSU again. The only school that believed in me. And I didn't even believe in them. I felt I was a loyalty person. Looking back, I didn't know anything about loyalty. I could talk it, but you know, walking it, was a whole different thing. And when you realize you're not loyal, that's what hurts the most. When you realize you lied to people, that's what hurts the most."

Some advised Mathieu to play lower-division football for a season before entering the draft. Mathieu considered it, but couldn't. Instead, he re-enrolled at LSU and paid his own way as a student. Mathieu said Miles told him he might be able to return to the Tigers in 2013.

"I had to regain everything that I lost at LSU," Mathieu said. "I didn't want to go to another school and they call me the Honey Badger. They didn't know how hard I worked to become the Honey Badger. They don't know Tyrann. LSU is the only fan base that truly knows Tyrann. I couldn't play for another school. I just couldn't do it. I wouldn't have given my all playing for another school. I was only going to give my all for LSU."

But then in October, Mathieu was arrested, along with several former teammates, for marijuana possession, effectively ending any chance he had to play for LSU again. And sending him to the NFL draft.

He had been through counseling. How could this happen again?

"I fell back into the same trap that got me suspended," Mathieu said. "The entire September even into October, I'd go up the football dorms, to encourage those guys, and I'd go back to my room. Didn't go out. Didn't do anything. But then you just get comfortable. People just talking good about you. 'Oh, Tyrann, he's doing good. He's not missing classes.' And then you start to confuse yourself again. Everything is not good. I'm paying for school. They're not checking my classes, even though I take classes with football players. They're not looking at Tyrann anymore. When you surround yourself with the wrong people it's going to backfire every time."

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Old 01-06-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

Who?
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

I can't remember the last time someone was suspended from the NFL for smoking weed.... well Rickey Williams did and I don't think he was ever suspended for it.

So this guy should do pretty well in the NFL! lol
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:18 PM   #4
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

Good Luck to him
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #5
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

So... college pressure made him smoke weed...

WTF does he think NFL pressure will drive him to?
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #6
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

If he is drafted, I would think Denver and Seattle would steer clear of selecting him since their respective states just "legalized it".
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:56 AM   #7
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

Originally Posted by D_it_up View Post
If he is drafted, I would think Denver and Seattle would steer clear of selecting him since their respective states just "legalized it".
Yeah, but look what it's done for their teams. They've been outscoring opponents better than 2-1 since that legislation passed, .

http://blackandgold.com/blogs/slomot...-seahawks.html
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:07 AM   #8
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

Hard to know for sure but it sounds like he has started to grow up and are learning from his mistakes. Don't know if he'll make it to the NFL but I just hope he makes it in life.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:31 AM   #9
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

What's funny is that his problems are not as horrible as our society makes it out to be. If I had to choose, I would rather a kid go out and smoke pot than to go out and get legally ****-faced.

If I had a choice, I would rather the highway, on New Year's Eve, be full of people high on pot than totally wasted on alcohol.

It is almost a tragedy that a person like Mathieu can have his whole world collapse around him because he chose to indulge in pot. It is a tragedy that people consider those who use alcohol "good ol' boys" and those who use pot "ne'er do wells".

It is time to America to come to it's senses. I think it is beginning to happen, and eventually the myth about pot will be exposed, but that isn't going to help the Honey Badger right now. Either make pot totally legal or make alcohol illegal.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: Tyrann Mathieu: Pressure led to use

If he gets it together, maybe he can still have a future. This could serve as his wake-up call, but I doubt it.
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