The roller coaster ride that’s been the life and career of Tyrann Mathieu the past year has officially come to an end at the collegiate level.
As expected, and as first reported by ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad, the former LSU cornerback announced Thursday that he has decided to forego his remaining eligibility and will make himself available for the April NFL draft.
“I am committed to tackling my personal issues and will work to better myself every day as a man first and only then as a football player,” a portion of Mathieu’s statement read. “I will always consider myself an LSU Tiger.”
A 2011 season that ended with Mathieu as a Heisman Trophy finalist and his name on numerous postseason All-American teams gave way to a series of developments that led to today’s decision. August 10, Mathieu was dismissed from the Tigers football program for what turned out to be the failure of multiple drug tests. While speculation flew that he would drop down to the FCS level, Mathieu ultimately returned to school at LSU — following a brief stint in rehab — and some around him held out hope that he could return to the team after sitting out the 2012 season.
While that was never a realistic possibility, the door was all but officially slammed shut after an SI.com article hinted at Mathieu and others running afoul of NCAA bylaws as well as a late-October arrest on marijuana-related charges.
At this point in time, the best-case draft scenario would be in the second- to third-round range, although he’ll have several off-field hurdles to clear with NFL teams to even be selected that high.