In a bit of a surprise, St. Augustine cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was offered a scholarship by LSU coach Les Miles at the close of camp and accepted it on the spot. Mathieu is one of those guys that the recruiting services haven't fully caught up with, though he is getting more well-known in recruiting circles as time goes on.
Mathieu started getting national attention when he showed up at a Tennessee camp that Rivals and Scout were covering. To say he made a great impression would be an understatement. Mathieu is 5'10" and 175#. There is a little film of him out there, and some of it is publicly available:
It's not like you can tell much from the video available either here or elsewhere, but here is what was said about his performance in Tennessee (most links are premium):
Mathieu was arguably the story of the event as he came out of nowhere to dominate the one-on-ones. He has such a smooth backpedal, great hips and surprising burst, but it's his closing speed and ability to get his head around and make plays on the ball that separates him from the best. Small wide receivers couldn't run past him and he handled bigger guys with his athleticism, hops and instincts. He isn't the biggest kid, but as a cover corner he had an amazing day.
Tyrann Mathieu out of New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine put together one of the best pure coverage performances of the spring or early summer in Knoxville.
During the morning session, Mathieu began to separate himself during one-on-ones and 7-on-7 drills by blanketing every receiver he faced. He went on to show remarkable hips in position work and the most fluid natural movement that you could ask for out of a cornerback.
By the afternoon session, Mathieu was being called out by every coach or wide receiver that wanted a challenge. Even while taking the best shot from the best receivers in attendance, Mathieu won almost every rep. In a drill in which the defense is at a major disadvantage, breakups and pure stops are hard to come by but those plays became routine for Mathieu.
Halfway through Tuesday's camp, the buzz was growing. Who was the guy in the purple shorts playing cornerback. Other campers didn't know his name, so they just starting saying that he was "the truth" or "the real deal". With each rep, the audience watching New Orleans defensive back Tyrann Mathieu was growing.
And the audience got a full show as Mathieu excelled all afternoon and got every rep possible even jumping to the front of the line at times.
There is always a surprise or two at every college summer football camp. Someone who everyone isn’t expecting to standout, does. It gives every prospect the opportunity to prove themselves if they have a good day. That’s exactly what happen for New Orleans St. Augustine defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.
He's got that it-factor about him, confidence, and speed to be a very good cornerback in college football.
The video actually has an imbed function, so let's see how that works.
This is a new name to many and some may have thought he was a one hit wonder early in the camp, but he kept on being one of the top defensive backs time and time again. He has very good recovery speed and that is what stood out the most. Even if he turned the wrong way or got off balance, when the ball got there, he seemed to be right there knocking it away. He also showed a nice back peddle.
I can't say I know much about the kid, but the reviews so far sure make me want to know more.