Tyrann Mathieu among four former LSU players arrested on drug charges

Tyrann Mathieu's sad tale continues to get worse.

Last week the former LSU cornerback was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, as the magazine painted a picture of a young man who had a tough upbringing but had been through drug rehab and was hoping to get his football career and life back on track. On Thursday, Mathieu and three of his former LSU teammates were arrested on drug-related charges.

Mathieu, Jordan Jefferson (LSU's starting quarterback in the latter portion of last season, including last January's BCS Championship Game), Karnell Hatcher, and Derrick Bryant were arrested on marijuana-related charges. According to the police report, Mathieu and Jefferson were charged with simple possession of marijuana, Hatcher was charged with second offense simple possession of marijuana, and Bryant was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Hatcher was a linebacker for LSU, starting three games last year, and Bryant was a reserve safety. The four were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, the police report said.

According to the report, police were dispatched to an apartment complex Thursday afternoon when a man (later identified as Jefferson) was spotted trying to force his way into the complex through a security gate. The man was let into the complex and into an apartment by a resident. The resident was Mathieu.

Police knocked on the door and after Mathieu answered, officers smelled the odor of marijuana and got Mathieu's consent to search the apartment. According to the police report, "a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high grade marijuana" were found in the apartment. Seven of the bags were found inside Bryant's book sack.

While the news is sad for everyone involved, Mathieu's involvement will generate the most interest. Last year he won the Bednarik Award, given to the top defensive player in college football. He was a consensus first-team All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist, and was expected to be a candidate for the award this season. His NFL future seemed bright. His fall from grace has been dramatic and swift.

Mathieu's issues are well-known. Mathieu, better known by his "Honey Badger" nickname, failed multiple drug tests, which led to him being kicked off the LSU team before this season. He was enrolled in classes this fall, and there has been speculation since then about whether he might return to LSU's team in 2013, although the Sports Illustrated story brought up questions about potential eligibility issues stemming from Mathieu's image being used to promote a party in Baton Rouge. This arrest makes the chance of Mathieu ever playing for LSU again seem even more remote, and will also raise even more questions by NFL teams about his off-field issues.

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