One of the most electrifying players to take the field for the LSU football program is returning to his hometown to host multiple philanthropic events this weekend.
Fans can watch Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu and a slew of other athletes and celebrities in the Tyrann Mathieu & Friends Kickball Classic on March 24 at the Shrine on Airline (aka where the New Orleans Baby Cakes play).
The following day, Mathieu will hold his third annual Heart of a Badger Youth Skills Camp, for boys and girls, ages K-9th.
Where Y’at’s Andrew Alexander caught up with Mathieu this week to talk LSU memories, DBU Mount Rushmore and what the Honey Badger is jamming to these days.
Where Y’at: What was your favorite big play from your time at LSU?
Tyrann Mathieu: My favorite play would have to be in Tiger Stadium, against Arkansas, that punt return. The reason it’s my favorite play is because I could literally feel Tiger Stadium inside of me on that play. It was such a unique feeling, and I’m sure not many people got a chance to experience it, but that was probably the greatest feeling I had.
WY: LSU is known as DBU, Defensive Back University. Who’s on your LSU DBU Mount Rushmore?
TM: Corey Webster would have to be first. He was a pioneer. He really started it, he set the trend. Year after year, going All-SEC and being one of the best defensive backs in college. From there I would have to put Patrick Peterson. He’s probably one of the more decorated LSU DB’s to come through the program. Third, I would have to say Morris Claiborne for the impact he had during my time there. The fourth DB would have to be myself, without a doubt.
WY: What do you miss most about New Orleans and Louisiana?
TM: A lot of people leave home and they miss the food, but I miss the culture. I miss the people. Everybody knows everybody. It seems like when you go other places, they lack that culture. It’s such an indescribable feeling. You kind of have to be from New Orleans, or Louisiana, to really know what I’m talking about. The culture is just so different in Louisiana. We love our people, we love our cities, we love our sports, and that’s what I ultimately miss the most about Louisiana.
WY: Who’s the toughest or most intimidating guy you have played with on either LSU or the Arizona Cardinals?
TM: Jarvis Landry, without a doubt. He’s probably one of the most competitive guys I know. Very strong minded, very strong willed. He’s just one of those guys who you want in your foxhole. If I’m playing against Alabama, I want to take the field with Jarvis Landry. That’s the kind of player he is, the kind of teammate he is and the kind of guy that he is.
WY: What is your go-to pump up song these days?
TM: I’m still listening to Lil’ Wayne, Tha Carter. “Birdman Jr.,” that’s probably my favorite song.
WY: What made you want to give back to the community with the kickball tournament and football camp?
TM: I’ve always seen myself as someone who gives back to the community. This will be my third year putting on my camp for the kids, and this will be my first year doing the kickball classic. I’ve just tried to play my part. I’ve tried to be mindful of decisions that I make and how they influence our youth. I’ve just tried to do my part by carrying myself the right way.
WY: What can fans expect to see at the Tyrann Mathieu & Friends Charity Kickball Classic?
TM: It will be a bunch of guys from the NFL. Saints players like Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn and Marshon Lattimore. Former LSU players like Jarvis Landry, Patrick Peterson, Brad Wing and Leonard Fournette. There will a bunch of guys that people are very familiar with. It will be a star-studded event. It will be a family environment. Everybody can come out, bring their kids, bring their parents. It will be very fun!
For more information on purchasing tickets, visit TyrannMathieuKickballClassic.com.
To sign up for the Heart of a Badger Youth Skills Camp, visit HardCountAthletics.com.