LSU’s first Heisman finalist since running back Charles Alexander in 1977 was only a sophomore when nominated.
Mathieu is better known for his nickname “Honey Badger”, but many are not familiar with what a honey badger actually is.
Despite the name, a honey badger is not part of the badger species and does not resemble a badger but more of a weasel.
The honey badger is a meat-eating species and has very few natural predators due to its thick skin and ferocious defensive abilities.
As the initial definition becomes more clear it starts to make sense.
Named as one of the top defenders and cornerbacks in the nation, Mathieu or the honey badger, was also named to the 1st team all SEC in 2011.
Mathieu finished the regular season with 71 total tackles and 1.5 sacks.
While his cover-corner skills continue to increase it is his knack for finding the ball and scoring which make him stand out.Those ferocious defensive abilities of the honey badger also led him to 5 forced fumbles (2 of them returned for touchdowns) and two interceptions.
Honey badgers are intelligent animals and are one of few species capable of using tools. Mathieu uses his tools well as on special teams he had 26 punt returns for 420 yards, with two returned for a touchdown.
Mathieu was named the most valuable player of the 2011 SEC Championship against Georgia and continues to be named the honey badger for his tenacious ability to play extremely tough football against larger opponents, as well as his knack for making big plays.