LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has Gators', nation's attention
While Florida is studying tape of LSU this week, no one player has grabbed the Gators' attention more than sophomore CB Tyrann Mathieu.
So far this season, Mathieu has scored two TDs on fumble returns, leads LSU with 35 tackles, four tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception, and 1.5 sacks.
Florida coach Will Muschamp said he's a player the Gators have to be aware of at all times on the field.
"Ball hawk,'' Muschamp said to describe Mathieu. "Just an electric guy on the field. He plays with great energy, tough, hard-nosed, great blitzer. He has just a knack for getting the ball off people as far as strips are concerned and interceptions. He’s just one of those guys that just shows up in the right spots, regardless of what’s being asked of him. I know he’s coached well, but certain players have a certain knack, have a certain ability to be in the right spots at the right times and make plays. And he plays the game extremely hard, he’s a physical player. I’ve got a lot of respect for the young man.''
LSU coach Les Miles said he knew early on Mathieu could be special.
"We saw it in camp, that aggressiveness and want to compete even in high school,'' he said. "That allowed us to be very comfortable and anticipate that he’d be that kind of player in college. What happens with guys that make those kind of plays routinely, they envision each play as an opportunity to make a great play and if it just happens they are put in that position, they saw that great play they were about to make even before it ever happened. And I think there are few of those. Patrick Peterson certainly was one. I think there are a number of guys on our team who see it that way. But I don’t know that anybody predicts that until you get them on our campus and see it routinely. Really in the first year he showed he was that kind of player.''
As for the Heisman talk Mathieu is now garnering, Miles said it's premature because it's so early in the season. But if you're talking special seasons, Miles believes Mathieu is in the midst of one.
"I don’t have the view of the nation’s best performances and how season’s are going for many others, but for Tyrann Mathieu, he’s having a great year.''