Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 1/21/13
FAIRHOPE, Ala. - Maybe the most intriguing NFL draft prospect hanging around on the first day of Senior Bowl week isn't even a participant in the Senior Bowl festivities. Remember Tyrann Mathieu? Mathieu, a 2011 All-American cornerback who didn't play football last fall after being kicked off of LSU's team, is hoping NFL decision makers do -- and that come April one team will be willing to invest in what Mathieu insists will be a clean and bright future. With the eyes of the NFL in Mobile, Ala., for Senior Bowl week, Mathieu is, too. On the advice of agent Patrick Lawlor, he's here Monday and Tuesday with the intent of getting to meet NFL scouts and general managers and make the kind of positive impression a player in his situation needs to make. "I just want to shake some hands, look people in the eyes," Mathieu said. "I haven't scripted any answers to any questions. This is the real Tyrann right now." But can the real Tyrann be trusted? Has he really grown from his mistakes? One of college football's best players at any position in the 2011 season, Mathieu was removed from LSU's team last August, reportedly for failing multiple drug tests. Mathieu, who entered a drug rehab program early last fall, has admitted excessive marijuana use, and he has criminal charges pending following an October arrest for simple marijuana possession. Since that October arrest he's been mostly living and working out in South Florida with the father of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, Mathieu's former LSU teammate and also a Lawlor client. Mathieu said he made the decision to enter the NFL Draft rather than attempt to return to LSU or play at another school because "I'm ready to be a football player. In college I had a lot of distractions. I let them get to me. I'm ready to (lock in) and play football at the highest level." The player known by many as "Honey Badger" was still sporting his recognizable blonde mohawk, though it was covered by an LSU hat at Fairhope High School Monday afternoon. Surrounded by crimson-clad Alabama fans who came to see the South team practice, Mathieu recalled LSU's loss to Alabama as the toughest part of the 2012 football season. "The screen pass," he said, referring to the 28-yard T.J. Yeldon touchdown that won the game for the Crimson Tide. "I was yelling at the TV, 'Screen pass, screen pass.' It sucked. I'm starting to appreciate the little things. Football players putting football first, just the football culture. "I miss the game a lot. So much. Being away from it you just miss everything -- the guys on the team, practice, little things. You appreciate the coaches hollering at you. You appreciate just the privilege of playing. I risked all that." Mathieu will have plenty of tough questions to answer at next month's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, but his Senior Bowl visit could give him a chance to both make a few impressions and prepare for the line of questioning that lies ahead. "Those (NFL) guys are definitely going to be concerned about my off the field habits," he said. "But it's definitely something I've cleaned up. I'm molding into a smart young man now. If those guys are able to believe in me, they'll get a guy who's going to inspire an entire team. "Whatever team drafts me, I'm just looking forward to being the best player, the best leader I can be." Zac Jackson is covering the Senior Bowl all week. Follow him on Twitter at @FSOhioZJackson.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker