At April’s Scout Combine in New Orleans, hometown standout Tyrann Mathieu began to see his recruitment pick up speed. One of the better cornerback prospects in attendance, Mathieu shut down one wide receiver after the next, also timing at 4.62 in the forty on a slow surface.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound prospect traveled to Knoxville in June, where he participated in Tennessee’s Rocky Top Camp. Once again, Mathieu impressed.
With his name heating up on the recruiting front, the LSU staff asked the cornerback prospect to make a trip to Baton Rouge in July. At that point, first year defensive backs coach Ron Cooper could get his eye on what all the fuss was about.
After a couple of days of one-on-one tutelage, one thing became clear – Mathieu was one of the best cornerbacks in Louisiana for 2010.
And when Miles gave the word after he checked out of camp, Mathieu had one quick response.
“I went up and met with Coach Miles and he was straight to the point,” said Mathieu as he enjoyed dinner with his coaches at a local Baton Rouge restaurant late Tuesday evening. “He said that I was really good and he wanted me to be a part of the program. I told him I’d love to.”
With offers already in from Southern Miss, SMU, Tulane, ULM and Florida International, and strong interest from Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, and others, why did Mathieu decide to pull the trigger with LSU?
“There was never any doubt,” he said. “I made up my mind about 5-10 years ago that it would never get better than LSU. When they offered, I jumped on it.”
Mathieu may have flown under the radar for the first half of the recruiting process, but he describes himself as someone who is well rounded in the secondary.
“I’m versatile and I feel like I can press pretty well,” he said. “That was something that I never really played at my high school, but I’ve done well at all of the camps I went to.”
With this big decision behind him, Mathieu is now looking forward to walking into Death Valley for the first time as an LSU Tiger.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “It’s going to be something special now that I’m a part of something so great.”