McNeese State head football coach Matt Viator confirmed Saturday morning that he met with Tyrann Mathieu on Friday night after receiving permission from LSU.
The Heisman Trophy finalist was kicked off LSU’s team Friday morning for an undisclosed violation of team policy.
“I received a call from Tyrann after practice on Friday that he wanted to come and meet with us,” Viator said in a school release. “We contacted LSU to get permission to talk to him and he arrived on campus later that night. We visited for an hour-and-a-half and then he went back home to New Orleans.”
Viator later specified that he had a voice mail from Mathieu when he returned to his office after McNeese’s Friday evening practice, which was the first he had directly heard from the “Honey Badger.” Mathieu indicated he was leaving Baton Rouge for Lake Charles in the message.
The release from Sports Information Director Matthew Bonnette also stated, “To McNeese’s knowledge, Mathieu has not made a decision on his intentions and there will be no other comments from McNeese about the issue at this time.”
The confirmation of Mathieu’s visit followed a full day of speculation as to his whereabouts, precipitated by former LSU kicker Josh Jasper’s statement on Twitter that Mathieu had already transferred to McNeese. The chatter picked up more steam late night as a cellphone photo of Mathieu inside of the Jack V. Doland Field House made the rounds on the social-media site.
LSU coach Les Miles said he is “passively involved” in Mathieu’s search for a new school. Published reports indicated Jackson State and Prairie View A&M are also being considered.
“I am passively involved, in other words, I know what’s going on,” Miles said. “But I’m not directing it in any way by nature of the fact that he’s no longer on our team. I’m following it pretty closely.
“What I’d like for him is what’s best for Tyrann. I would like for Tyrann to be in an environment that would be conducive to his developing and getting his degree, and playing football certainly is a natural thing that comes to him and makes him happy.”
McNeese defensive back Terence Cahee said the Cowboys have done a good job of blocking out the distractions that have Lake Charles and the college football world as a whole buzzing.
“The coaches and leaders of the team have done a good job of keeping everybody focused inside the house,” Cahee said. “Our goal is Aug. 30, Middle Tennessee. Whatever happens, happens.”