Hitting the Books

Tyrann Mathieu's focus is solely on his academics

When camp rolled around last July Tyrann Mathieu headed to Baton Rouge with one goal in mind and that was to earn a scholarship offer from the Tigers. When he left to return home four days later the standout cornerback had accomplished his mission.

When Scout.com makes the final adjustments to its 2010 player rankings one player from Louisiana hopes to move up the charts in three-star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu of New Orleans-St. Augustine.


Mathieu, a 5-foot-9, 163-pounder with 4.4 speed, is currently ranked No. 23 among the country’s top cornerbacks in Scout’s position rankings. There are three players that currently stand in between Mathieu and a four-star rating in junior college prospect Dequan Menzie, Baylor commit Tyler Stephenson and Oklahoma State commit Justin Gilbert.


Mathieu certainly did everything he could to boost that rating during his senior season as he logged over 40 tackles and intercepted four passes to go with the 13 other passes that he broke up.


For his sterling play during his senior campaign, Mathieu earned All-America honors and was selected to play in the Offense-Defense All-America Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C. However, his focus on finishing up the first half of the school year on a strong note prevented him from getting his paperwork in on time in order to participate in the game.


Mathieu was disappointed to some extent but his focus was more on the future than on the present.


“I really have been focused on school and I just didn’t get everything in on time,” he said. “I don’t know what I finished with the second quarter but I know the first quarter I made a 2.5 in my core and I also made an 18 on the ACT. I’m just focusing on school from here on out so I can get my stuff taken care of.”


In between study hall and the countless hours he is spending on improving his core grade point average which he estimates is in the 2.2-range, Mathieu has stayed in touch with the LSU staff. That includes head coach Les Miles, defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, and new running backs coach Frank Wilson, who played college ball at Nicholls State with St. Augustine head coach David Johnson.


“Coach Frank has just been telling me that I need to stay focused and on top of school,” Mathieu said. “He and Coach Johnson are real tight so we have a real good relationship, plus I knew him from when he was at Tennessee.


“Coach Cooper just says that he’s ready for me to get to LSU and that I’ll have a chance to get on the field,” added Mathieu. “We got real close over the summer and I’m really just ready to get down to LSU.”


It will be several months before Mathieu can officially report to LSU but he will be on campus the weekend of Jan. 22-24 where he hopes to strengthen the bond that he already has with the coaching staff and his future teammates.


“I’ll be taking my official visit that weekend but there’s nothing I need to see to know that LSU is where I’m going to sign,” said Mathieu. “I know where I’m going and the coaches know I’m solid to LSU. I’m just going to spend some time with the coaches and my teammates and see if I can help get everyone I can to finish this class off.”



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