Former LSU standout praises Deion Sanders, who helped him star in the NFL arena: "He was always in support of me""

"Former LSU standout heaped praises for Deion Sanders who helped him ace in the NFL arena: "He was always in support of me""
Tyrann Mathieu, left, and Deion Sanders [Credits: Getty Images]

Tyrann Mathieu has had a whirlwind 11-season NFL journey. Throughout his ups and downs, one name has always stood out as a guiding force for him: Deion Sanders. The Hall of Fame figure played an instrumental role in shaping Mathieu's career trajectory.

The former LSU standout and New Orleans Saints star credits Coach Prime with valuable mentorship. He has developed a relationship with Sanders that transcends the football field. Mathieu made it clear that the coaching role of Deion Sanders was not merely a stepping stone for his own personal gain.

The wisdom of Coach Prime: How Deion Sanders shapes young NFL talent

As Mathieu said on "The Rich Eisen Show," the impact of Deion Sanders on his journey was pivotal. It began between Mathieu leaving LSU and awaiting the 2013 NFL draft.

"He was always in support of me," Mathiu recalled Sanders visiting him in Florida. "He was always encouraging and gave me these words of advice: 'Just stay focused and stay committed to football and obviously keep God first. And try to keep good people around you.'"

For Mathieu, Coach Prime's wisdom had an impact.


The coaching history of Sanders at Jackson State and Colorada shows that he has a keen eye for nurturing talent and uplifting individuals.

"He's self-motivated," Mathieu said, drawing parallels with the resolute mindset of Deion Sanders during his playing days.

The bond between mentor and mentee thrived, with Sanders pouring his belief and encouragement into Mathieu, a gesture that the "Honey Badger" holds in high regard. Sanders' influence goes beyond X's and O's on the gridiron. His tendency to uniquely connect with the younger generation of NFL talent is out of this world.

Mathieu expressed his gratitude for Sanders' insights.

"He always believes in himself and his abilities of what he can do," Mathieu said. "But I was always grateful because he always tried to pour that into me."

Tyrann Mathieu: From college decision to Super Bowl glory

Mathieu discusssed the life-altering moment when he was kicked off the LSU football team in his final year for breaking team rules.

As Mathieu told Eisen, this incident fueled his drive for what lay ahead: a lengthy and successful NFL career. The support and leadership from peers like Patrick Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald and Calais Campbell during his time in Arizona were invaluable. It helped Mathieu navigate through his 20s and laid the groundwork for his future accomplishments.

The "Honey Badger" added a Super Bowl victory to his storied journey as a Kansas City Chiefs member in 2019. Last year, he donned the colors of the New Orleans Saints, marking his fourth team since entering the league.

Mathieu posted career-high numbers last season. He racked up 91 total tackles alongside three interceptions and a sack.

As he continues to carve his legacy, Tyrann Mathieu's path has been shaped by the mentorship, resilience and growth fostered by none other than the incomparable Deion Sanders.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein