His adoptive father, Tyrone, told ESPN on Monday that Tyrann would begin classes today. The elder Mathieu had announced in late August that his 20-year-old All-American son – better known as the “Honey Badger” – would not play football this fall as he worked with former NBA star John Lucas on overcoming his own substance abuse problems.
“Tyrann is working on discipline, maturity and character,” Mathieu said then. “He’s making life adjustments.”
LSU coach Les Miles kicked Mathieu off the team in August, reportedly after repeat violations of the school’s substance abuse policy.
Between his dismissal and Tuesday’s enrollment, Tyrann Mathieu had been at the Right Step recovery center in Houston.
Sheila Mathieu, Tyrone’s adoptive mother, said “yes” when asked if she thought Tyrann may be able to play for LSU again.
“Tyrann is a lot better, thank God,” she said. “He’s strengthening himself and he continues to do so. He’s focused on academics.”
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Mathieu said Tyrann will stay in touch with mentor Lucas through phone calls and texts.
“It’s an ongoing process,” she said. “It’s not a done deal but a work in (progress).”
Mathieu briefly considered transferring to a lower-division school where he could play immediately, visiting both McNeese State and Nicholls State.
He decided to remain at LSU, but it is unclear whether Miles would consider reinstating him in the future. Mathieu will be eligible to enter the NFL draft in 2013.
Mathieu earned the nickname Honey Badger for his tenacious style, small stature (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) and blond streak of hair, rising from obscurity to become one of college football’s biggest stars in 2011, his sophomore season.
He won the Bednarik Award as national defensive player of the year last season after scoring four touchdowns (two on punt returns, two on fumble returns) intercepting two passes and causing six fumbles while recovering four.