LSU Players React To Tyrann Mathieu's Exit: 'We're Deep With Talent'

Tyrann Mathieu's dismissal from the LSU football program for a failed drug test was a shock to the college football community. The Tigers had just been given a No.1 ranking in the release of the initial Coaches Poll, and suddenly they were down a Heisman finalist and inarguably their highest-profile player. His former teammates aren't dwelling on his absence, however. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger told SI.com that the team's expectations remain exactly the same.

"We're going to miss him a lot,'' Mettenberger said of Mathieu, "But we've got to handle this adversity because this team is not a bad team even though we lost one of our best players. ... We have the same goals and we're going to look to achieve all of them.''

LSU had huge shoes to fill in the secondary when Morris Claiborne left for the NFL. With Mathieu gone, the Tigers' pass defense could suddenly become an Achilles' heel if Tharold Simon and freshmen Jalen Mills and Jalen Collins aren't ready to step up. Offensive lineman Josh Dworaczyk said the team is challenging the younger players.

"We all took it upon (ourselves) as the leadership of this team to really turn to the back of the (team meeting) room and look at the younger guys and say, `All right, who's going to step up? Who's going to be the next guy that's going to fill in this position?'

"We have things to do this year,'' Dworaczyk continued. "Something we always do here at LSU is, through adversity, we continue to move forward."

For more on Tigers football, visit LSU blog And The Valley Shook, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.