Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu had anything but a smooth journey to the NFL. Once considered among the best athletes in the college ranks while at LSU, Mathieu's off-field issues ultimately led to his dismissal from the team before his junior season in 2012.
His struggles with substance abuse were documented throughout his fall from grace at LSU, but Mathieu shed new light on his career low point this week, revealing he'd had suicidal thoughts while in jail in 2012, according to Fox Sports Arizona's Craig Morgan.
Recently, Mathieu had updated his Twitter profile with the lines, "I've tried committing suicide. But I didn't, look at me now." He took the comment down when it began to get widespread attention, but he opened up this week, explaining his decision to go public with the information as a way to help others as well as keep himself in check.
"I think the biggest thing is to be open about it," he said Tuesday after the first day of Cardinals minicamp at the team's practice complex. "Part of it is reaching out to others trying to help; part of it is self-counseling, talking about it, not shying away from it. Most people try to isolate themselves and pretend like things are all good when a lot of times, that's not how it is."
Mathieu went on to describe how the thoughts became overwhelming when he was forced to sit in a jail cell following an arrest that occurred after his dismissal from the LSU football team. Mathieu says his cellmates encouraged him to keep moving toward his NFL dream in his darker hours. After being drafted by the Cardinals last year and joining his former LSU mentor Patrick Peterson in the Arizona secondary, Mathieu showed that he has what it takes to make an impact in the league, recording 68 tackles with two interceptions.