(Photo Courtesy: USA Today Sports)
It’s no secret to anyone who followed college football over the last few years that Tyrann Mathieu had a problem with marijuana. You know it. I know it. Even my grandma- who thinks football is played with a bat and ball over nine innings- knows the same.
At this point, the Honey Badger’s affinity for well, “not caring” (at least in terms of weed use) is legendary. He was suspended for the Auburn game in 2011 for reportedly failing a test, a failed test which nearly cost him a trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He later was kicked off LSU’s team for the entire 2012 season for reportedly failing more tests. And there was nothing “reported” about Mathieu’s arrest in October for drug possession, an arrest which was ultimately the final nail in his college career.
Simply put, we knew Mathieu’s problems were bad. Really bad. But it wasn’t until Friday morning that we got a tiny bit of insight into how truly awful they might’ve been.
That’s because in an attempt to clean up his image prior to the NFL Draft, Mathieu has apparently been brutally honest with professional teams, and on Friday morning USA Today’s Jarrett Bell revealed just how bad his use and abuse of weed was, according to one unnamed NFL assistant coach.
Here is what the coach told Bell Friday, with the quote coming via USA Today Sports:
During one visit, Mathieu was asked how many drug tests he failed before he was suspended in college.
According to an assistant coach for the team, Mathieu responded: "I quit counting at 10. I really don't know."
Again, we knew the problem was bad, but it wasn’t until the insight from Bell’s article that we realized just how bad it truly was. Mathieu failed more than 10 tests? For real?
As the assistant coach later mentioned in the article, a lot of that responsibility falls on LSU, but part of it falls on Mathieu himself. As anyone who has ever dealt with someone who has a physical or mental addiction knows, you can’t change someone who doesn’t want to be changed. And if 10 failed tests doesn’t change a man, nor does getting booted off the team, seemingly nothing would. Mathieu claims he’s been clean since his arrest, but besides Mathieu himself, who really knows for sure?
What we do know is that for all Mathieu’s problems, it doesn’t seem to have totally submarined his draft stock. While we’ll leave the hard-hitting analysis to Bloguin’s NFL folks, Bell does mention that Mathieu is in the midst of a tour across the country, with 10 different teams working Mathieu out and interviewing him in one-on-one sessions. Thanks to a big day at the Combine, Bell’s sources tell him it’s realistic Mathieu could go as early as the second or third round, although a later spot is much more likely. While that’s not quite as high as his projection prior to his suspension and arrest, things could be a lot worse.
Ultimately, someone will take Mathieu on draft weekend, it’s just a matter of when and where.
It’ll be interesting to know how much the honesty Mathieu displays in these interviews helps or hurts him in this process.
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