4 things to know about Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu
Kansas City Chiefs star Tyrann Mathieu made a name for himself as the “Honey Badger” during his time at LSU. Mathieu tormented opposing offenses when he would lurk around the secondary on Saturdays sporting the purple and gold. He was viewed as one of the top players in the nation before he ran into trouble. Mathieu played two seasons at LSU before getting kicked off the team for drug-related problems.
Mathieu worked hard to recreate his image as the Honey Badger and fulfill his dream of reaching the NFL. After a year away from football, he decided to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft. He had to wait a long time to hear his name called. Five teams passed over him once, 16 teams passed twice, and 10 teams passed three times. Finally, the Arizona Cardinals selected Mathieu with the 69th pick in the draft. Mathieu spent five seasons in Arizona before spending last season with the Houston Texans.
At 27 years old, Mathieu signed a three-year, $42 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. He will be a part of a secondary for a team with an explosive offense and Super Bowl expectations. Mathieu has been through a lot in his career. Here are four things to know about the newest Chief.
1. Tyrann Mathieu Foundation
The Honey Badger founded the “Tyrann Mathieu Foundation.” This is a nonprofit organization that helps financially disadvantaged children and youth. He does this through encouragement, resources, and opportunities to achieve their dreams. Mathieu created this foundation to help children in Phoenix, where he spent the beginning of his career, and his hometown of New Orleans.
Over the years, Mathieu has planned many events such as kickball games and dances. Many athletes attend these events to support the foundation. Mathieu has always done anything to help children get to where they want to be.
2. Mathieu’s Plans after Football
In 2016, Mathieu opened up his availability on Twitter. Fans would tweet a question to the star safety and he would answer honestly. During this question and answer session, Mathieu revealed dreams for when his football days are over.
One question asked what Mathieu would do if he did not pursue football. He answered “Probably a teacher or coach…Initially, I wanted to be a garbage man.” The idea of Mathieu teaching makes a lot of sense given the success of his foundation. A second question asked what Mathieu’s plans are when he retires from the game of football. Mathieu responded, “to either act in movies or be a speaker.”
By his answers, it is obvious that Mathieu has dreams of helping the next generation. So far, he has done a great job.
3. Lightly Recruited Player
Despite all of his collegiate success, Mathieu was not heavily recruited out of high school. he was the 13th ranked cornerback in the class. His list of schools included SMU, Florida International, Southern Miss, Tulane, and Louisiana-Monroe. The LSU Tigers came knocking and Mathieu ended up answering. LSU was clearly the best school on his list.
During his freshman season at LSU, Mathieu started 13 games. After his sophomore season, Mathieu was selected as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and won the Chuck Badnarik Award given to the top defensive player in the nation. Many college teams missed out on a top player.
4. Mathieu’s Journey
In 2012, LSU got beat down by Alabama in the National Championship game. This was not the only big loss for Mathieu that year. He was dismissed by former LSU coach Les Miles. In October of 2012, Mathieu was arrested for possession of marijuana. From that moment on, Mathieu vowed to turn his career around. He checked himself into a rehab center to fix what he was going through.
Mathieu fell from glory in 2012, however, it did not ruin his chance at playing in the NFL. Mathieu would end up declaring for the NFL Draft. He would have been selected much higher if it were not for his off the field issues. Mathieu was selected by the Cardinals and made them look like geniuses for taking a chance on one of the most talented players in college football at the time. Now in Kansas City, Mathieu has a chance to write another chapter in his story if he can help lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.