ESPN correspondent Joe Schad reports former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu has "expressed an interest" in paying his own way at LSU for a year and then trying to return to the Tigers in 2013.
Schad quotes "a source close to Mathieu" who reportedly told him that Mathieu is heartbroken and grieving after being booted from the football team.
Mathieu reportedly failed a drug test, leading to hisdismissal from the team by Coach Les Miles and school officials.
According to Schad's report, "Mathieu has told people close to him that he is interested in working on his maturity and character and also in seeking out any way to continue his education at LSU."
WWL.com LSU columnist Jeff Palermo says he would not be surprised if the school and Les Miles are open to the idea of the "Honey Badger" eventually returning.
"One of the things they talked about was how heartbroken they were over having to suspend someone like Tyrann Mathieu. They all admit that he's a great football player, and he's a great person...he's just made some mistakes that led to him being kicked off the football team," Palermo said.
Palermo also said that taking a year off with the possibility of a return to the Tigers may be a better move for Mathieu's long-term career goals, as well.
"I don't know what he could really prove by going to a I-AA school and performing well on that level, then going into the NFL draft. At this point right now, he's lost the opportunity to be a first-round pick. It might help that he takes a year off, corrects some of the personal problems, then comes back in 2013 and has a great season...then maybe can become a first-round draft pick again."