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Before the arrest, Mathieu had already been kicked off LSU's football team for failing multiple drug tests.
"I'm sitting in that jail cell thinking, 'I don't know if I want to go back out there and face the music,' " Mathieu said Tuesday after Cardinals minicamp (via Fox Sports). "I didn't know how I was going to commit suicide in the cell, but that was the direction my life was heading."
He said he got encouragement from the people he was sharing a cell with.
"Believe it or not, my cellmates were encouraging me, telling me I was a good football player; telling me I don't need to be thinking about this," he said. "That's probably why I really didn't do it, but there was an actual moment where I was thinking about, and I'll never forget that feeling."
After exploding onto the scene as a Heisman finalist in 2011, Mathieu was kicked off LSU's team in August of 2012 and subsequently went to rehab. The arrest happened in October, as he was booked along with former LSU QB Jordan Jefferson, Karnell Hatcher and Derrick Bryant. It was an incredibly quick and saddening drop. 10 months after being on the Heisman stage, he was in a jail cell with suicidal thoughts.
Mathieu revealed the news of his suicide contemplation himself. He posted "I've tried committing suicide. But I didn't, look at me now" to his Twitter profile. It's now gone, because Mathieu said he didn't think it'd receive so much attention.
At the time of the arrest, Mathieu was still enrolled at LSU. However, it essentially ended any possibilities that he'd rejoin the football team. He later declared for the 2013 NFL draft and was selected in the 3rd round by the Cardinals. For as swift as his downfall was, his rededication and rise back in football has been almost as quick.
Now, as he works his way back from a knee injury, Mathieu said he wants to be an example for people who have benefitted from a second chance and start a foundation.
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