Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/26/13

Tyrann Mathieu may have had a lot of off-field problems entering the NFL Draft, but a girlfriend wasn’t one. The former LSU cornerback has been dating Sydni Paige Russell since at least 2011. That was the time when Mathieu, then known as the “Honey Badger,” was blowing up for the Tigers. He became a Heisman Trophy finalist that season despite dealing with numerous issues. Not only did he test positive for synthetic marijuana, but he was also at the center of a nude picture scandal. Some naked pictures of Mathieu popped up online, allegedly coming from women with whom he was fooling around. The pictures were apparently a side girl’s response to Mathieu professing his love for Paige over social media. Paige and Mathieu brushed aside the pictures at the time, saying they were old and from high school. Paige didn’t waver even when another groupie tale involving Mathieu emerged last year. An Oct. 2012 Sports Illustrated article on Mathieu mentioned that he was set to become a father in January. Considering that Russell spent the entire year as a cheerleader for the New Orleans Hornets, we’re pretty certain she was not pregnant. We believe this is the woman who had Mathieu’s child 12 weeks ago. Mathieu and Russell continue to tweet and Instagram like everything is going great. There have even been hints of the two getting married soon. When it was Russell’s 20th birthday last week, Tyrann gave her a cake with her name as “Sydni Mathieu.” A couple of months ago, she referred to him as her “hubby to be.” Russell appears to be a student at LSU who is completing her sophomore year. She was one of the New Orleans Hornets “Honeybees” for the basketball season, though she has indicated she likely will not be back with them next season. She stated in her online profile for the Honeybees: I love the positive energy you get from just being a part of this amazing dance team. People truly look up to you and it is so honoring! I also enjoy our workouts and practices because we work so hard but we also have fun doing it. I’m super excited for my first season! I love to hang out with my friends, watch movies and go out to eat! It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy and a good meal can do the job! While she is in the middle of her time as a student, her boyfriend is expected to go in the second or third round of the NFL Draft. Photo: Instagram/Sydni Paige 2

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