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Tyrann Mathieu’s girlfriend Sydni Paige Russell is a New Orleans Hornets cheerleader

Tyrann Mathieu girlfriend Sydni Paige Russell

Tyrann Mathieu may have had a lot of off-field problems entering the NFL Draft, but a girlfriend wasn’t one.

The former LSU cornerback has been dating Sydni Paige Russell since at least 2011. That was the time when Mathieu, then known as the “Honey Badger,” was blowing up for the Tigers. He became a Heisman Trophy finalist that season despite dealing with numerous issues. Not only did he test positive for synthetic marijuana, but he was also at the center of a nude picture scandal.

Some naked pictures of Mathieu popped up online, allegedly coming from women with whom he was fooling around. The pictures were apparently a side girl’s response to Mathieu professing his love for Paige over social media. Paige and Mathieu brushed aside the pictures at the time, saying they were old and from high school. Paige didn’t waver even when another groupie tale involving Mathieu emerged last year.

An Oct. 2012 Sports Illustrated article on Mathieu mentioned that he was set to become a father in January. Considering that Russell spent the entire year as a cheerleader for the New Orleans Hornets, we’re pretty certain she was not pregnant. We believe this is the woman who had Mathieu’s child 12 weeks ago.

Mathieu and Russell continue to tweet and Instagram like everything is going great. There have even been hints of the two getting married soon. When it was Russell’s 20th birthday last week, Tyrann gave her a cake with her name as “Sydni Mathieu.” A couple of months ago, she referred to him as her “hubby to be.”

Russell appears to be a student at LSU who is completing her sophomore year. She was one of the New Orleans Hornets “Honeybees” for the basketball season, though she has indicated she likely will not be back with them next season.

She stated in her online profile for the Honeybees:

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Tyrann Mathieu hosting draft party, backs off flyer saying he will be 1st-round pick

Tyrann Mathieu draft flyer

It was already a bad enough idea for Tyrann Mathieu to host an NFL Draft party. When you have a reputation for having off-field problems that include a past marijuana addiction, being a party guy is not the image you wan’t to portray. But it’s also questionable when the flyer bills you as a “1st Round Draft Pick.”

Mathieu posted a picture to Instagram Wednesday of a flyer for a post-draft party he is having in New York on Thursday. Not only did he receive backlash for hosting the party, but people also pointed out that it was pretty ballsy of him to call himself a future first-round pick. He later addressed the flyer on Twitter, saying the first-round part was not his doing.

Whoever did make the flyer doesn’t pay too much attention to mock drafts. Mathieu is expected to be picked sometime on the second day of the draft, which is when the second and third rounds will take place.

Mathieu has disassociated himself from the “Honey Badger” nickname he earned at LSU as part of an effort to clean up his image. Flyers like this won’t help his cause. We still expect one team to take a chance on him relatively early because of his special playmaking ability.

UPDATE: A minute after publishing, Mathieu tweeted to say there would not be a party.

H/T SI Extra Mustard

Tyrann Mathieu reportedly told NFL coaches he failed at least 10 drug tests

Tyrann Mathieu had a serious issue with not being able to lay off the marijuana while at LSU. His inability to put down the herb ultimately cost him his college career, and now the artist formerly known as the Honey Badger has to make sure it doesn’t do the same to his future.

So how bad was it? One NFL assistant coach told USA Today Sports on Thursday that Mathieu was asked how many drug tests he failed in college before LSU suspended him.

“I quit counting a 10,” the coach said Mathieu responded. “I really don’t know.”

The coach, who chose to remain anonymous, added that it is clear Mathieu was not given the help he needed at school if he failed that many drug tests before the school took action. That probably has something to do with the fact that Mathieu was one of the best players in the country on a team that was competing for a national championship.

As we know, Mathieu’s drug use eventually became too much for LSU to handle. He was kicked off the team and spent some time at a drug rehab facility before eventually admitting that he “abused” himself through the use of marijuana. Mathieu now claims he has put marijuana use behind him.

While I’m sure the NFL team that asked him that question appreciates the honesty, his history of drug use is obviously a major concern for NFL teams who are considering taking a chance on Mathieu. The 20-year-old claims he was the best player at the NFL Combine in February and insists he is clean, but he is not very far removed from marijuana being a major part of his life. If he truly is on the right track, the hope is that Mathieu can stay there.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Tyrann Mathieu believes he was the best player at the NFL combine (Video)

Tyrann-MathieuConsidering he has not played in an actual football game since 2011, former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu put together a pretty impressive showing at the NFL Combine last month. He ran a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash and reportedly held his own in drills, so his actual performance probably didn’t do much to affect his stock.

As we know, Mathieu’s NFL prospects hinge more on whether or not teams are willing to take a risk on him given his history of off-field issues. According to the artist formerly known as the Honey Badger, any team that drafts him would be selecting the best player from the Combine.

“I feel like I was the best one there, by far,” Mathieu confidently told TMZ on Tuesday. “I put a lot of hard work into it. I just tried to go out there confident in my game.”

Between these comments and the ones he made about shutting down Calvin Johnson, it seems like Mathieu feels like he can talk his way into the NFL. He was also asked which NFL team he would most enjoy playing for.

“It’d have to be the 49ers, just as a fan” he said. “They’ve got a pretty good organization. They’ve got a pretty good dynasty that they’re trying to pursue. It’d be great to be a part of the 49ers club.”

No team is going to wager their future on Mathieu, so a team that is already in good shape defensively like the Niners could be one of the ones to show interest in him. However, I’m sure he’d be happy to play for any team in the NFL. With how quickly Mathieu’s stock has fallen, just hearing his name called in April would be a success.

Tyrann Mathieu: I could hold Calvin Johnson to five catches

Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has spent his time at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianpolis trying to prove to NFL teams that he still holds value, despite having not played in an actual game since 2011. When he did play, Mathieu had the best ball skills of any defensive back in the nation. However, there have always been questions about how his size would translate to the professional level.

Through all of his struggles off the field, Mathieu seems to have remained confident. On Tuesday, he talked about whether or not he could hang with the NFL’s best receivers.

“I feel like if I was to check somebody like a Calvin Johnson, he’ll make his plays, but I’m definitely going to get mine, too,” Mathieu told the NFL Network, via MLive.com. “He’s going to catch his five balls, but I’m going to get my two turnovers, so we’ll be even.”

Mathieu ran a 4.5 in the 40 and reportedly looked solid in drills, so the Combine was not a failure for him. He is only 5-foot-9, 186 pounds, so his expectations of how he would match-up against Megatron could be unrealistic. He’d be giving up an incredible amount of size, which is the type of situation that Johnson has feasted on since coming into the league. Mathieu also sent out a tweet as a follow-up:

What would you expect him to say? The artist formerly known as the Honey Badger has more to prove than most NFL prospects, so at the very least he needs to show teams he is still confident in his abilities. Nobody wants to hear Mathieu say he’d stand no chance against someone like Johnson, even if it may be true.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Tyrann Mathieu doesn’t consider himself the ‘Honey Badger’ anymore

Tyrann Mathieu knows that some of the decisions he has made over the past five months or so may have completely derailed his NFL plans. Mathieu was kicked off LSU’s football team last summer following a series of failed drug tests. Rather than transferring, he decided to stay at LSU in hopes of rejoining the team next season. Then in October, he was arrested on drug-related charges and decided to enter the 2013 NFL draft.

Now, the “Honey Badger” is hoping some NFL team will take a chance on him in April. The 20-year-old cornerback is looking to make some changes in his life, and that includes ditching the “Honey Badger” persona.

“I think at LSU, the Honey Badger (person) came to an abrupt end,” Mathieu said Monday while watching some of his former teammates practice for the Senior Bowl, via The Shreveport Times. “I definitely want to do it the right way this time.”

Mathieu is obviously looking to start fresh, which makes sense given all the mistakes he has made since last year. His nose for the ball made him an intriguing NFL prospect, but now teams have to wonder if he can keep his act together.

“I think people will be (skeptical), and they have every right to do that,” he said. “I’m not (expecting) people trusting me. Trust takes time, especially when you have done a lot of things for people not to trust you. It may take two years, five years or until I’m 30 years old but the truth is I’m doing the right things and I’m looking forward to being a football player.”

While we understand what he is trying to accomplish by ditching the nickname, people are still going to call Mathieu the “Honey Badger” if he ever plays in the NFL. Adam “Pacman” Jones tried to ditch his nickname when he got himself into trouble several years ago, and he has had little success. Having said that, I’m sure Mathieu will be happy with anything his teammates and fans call him if an NFL team is willing to give him a shot.

Tyrann Mathieu: I abused myself through marijuana

Tyrann Mathieu cryingTyrann Mathieu was once the most exciting player in college football, but his promising career went downhill quickly after he was kicked off LSU’s football team following a series of positive drug tests. Mathieu decided to remain at LSU rather than transfer to another school. His plan was to rejoin LSU’s team next season, but those plans were derailed by an October marijuana arrest. He announced a month later that he would enter the 2013 NFL draft.

In an interview with ESPN on Saturday, Mathieu finally came clean about his problems. His admissions are part of an effort to show NFL teams and fans that he has matured.

During the interview, Mathieu talked about the moment when he decided he wanted to change his life.

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