Schlabach: Mathieu was rare game-changer

August, 11, 2012
8/11/12
10:38
AM ET
I'll miss watching the Honey Badger taking what he wanted.

I'll miss seeing plays like Tyrann Mathieu's electrifying 92-yard punt return for a touchdown in then-No. 1 LSU's 41-17 rout of Arkansas last season.

I'll miss watching Mathieu dance around multiple defenders like he did when Georgia inexplicably punted to him twice in last season's SEC championship game.

Don't get me wrong: Mathieu wasn't the best player in the country. Heck, he wasn't even the best cornerback on his own team in 2011. That honor belonged to former LSU cornerback Mo Claiborne, a first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in this spring's NFL draft. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron showed us that Mathieu had plenty of shortcomings as a cornerback in the Crimson Tide's 21-0 victory over the Tigers in last season's Allstate BCS National Championship Game, throwing over him time and time again.

But there wasn't another player in the country who could turn around a game at the drop of a hat like the Honey Badger did, both on defense and special teams.

To read more from Mark Schlabach, click here.

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