If you could believe it, Mathieu was not a highly-recruited high school prospect despite his solid highlight tape.
Tyrann Mathieu in High School
Mathieu played on the football team for St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was all over the field, playing cornerback, free safety, and linebacker. Mathieu also received snaps as a wide receiver.
No matter where Mathieu lined up, he had a nose for the football. He was either catching passes or intercepting them.
His senior season put him in the spotlight as he finished with 32 tackles, five interceptions, one sack, and one fumble recovery. After several playoff berths with St. Augustine, Mathieu was ready for college.
Tyrann Mathieu at LSU
Tyrann Mathieu thrived under head coach Les Miles, and he acclimated to the college game quickly.
Mathieu’s 2011 was what put him on the map. Thanks to his defensive contributions, Mathieu earned the Bednarik Award for Defensive Player of the Year, was named a First-Team All-American, and was a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Disappointingly, before his junior year, Mathieu was dismissed from the team due to team rule violations, meaning that he would have to take a year off before joining the professional ranks.
Tyrann Mathieu in the NFL
With character concerns aplenty, the Arizona Cardinals took a chance on Mathieu in the third round of the NFL Draft. Together with Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals remained a threat in the ultra-competitive NFC West.
Tyrann Mathieu is the definition of a “playmaker.”
Whenever he is on the field, he has the chance to make magic happen. These traits have been evident since high school and don’t appear to be fading anytime soon.