Early declaration day continues in college football. It has been quite the busy day with announcements of players declaring for the 2016 NFL Draft, and Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil is not going to be left out of the parade. Tunsil will forgo his final year of eligibility in Oxford and enter the 2016 NFL Draft as one of the top offensive linemen on the board. Ole Miss announced the decision on Monday afternoon.
“After weighing the decision with my family, I will forgo my senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft,” Tunsil said in a released statement. “It’s been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, and I’m excited about the challenge in front of me. I will always cherish my time at Ole Miss and the relationships with my teammates, coaches and staff. Those are my brothers, and I will always be a Rebel. I’m proud of what my class accomplished, and I know even bigger things are ahead for this program.”
Tunsil will join teammate and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell among the list of underclassmen entering the 2016 NFL Draft. Treadwell’s decision to enter the draft was announced earlier in the day. Like Treadwell, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze had some compliments to pass along to Tunsil on his way out.
“Few players have brought more joy to my life than Laremy Tunsil, and I’m so proud to see him take this next step in his life,” Freeze said in a released statement. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave us three years ago, and I look forward to seeing him walk across the stage at this year’s NFL Draft. With his spirit, hard work and determination, he has a bright future ahead of him.”
Tunsil leaves Ole Miss as a two-time All-American and a three-time All-SEC player. Tunsil even scored a touchdown in his final game, against Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.
In the sixth and final game in the New Years Six line-up this season, the Sugar Bowl is seeming to follow the trend of lopsided contests. Ole Miss of the SEC has been abusing Oklahoma State all throughout the first half of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and leads the Big 12 member 34-6 at halftime.
With first and goal inside the five-yard line and just five seconds to play following an Oklahoma State penalty in the endzone, rather than kick a short field goal Hugh Freeze opted to run one last play. It paid off. Chad Kelly faked a handoff and tossed a screen back to a wide open Laremy Tunsil — yes, offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil — on the left side of the field for an exclamation point score before heading to the locker room.
Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has two touchdown catches and 57 yards on four catches, and he’s even completed a 45-yard pass to Jordan Wilkins. Ole Miss’ regular passer, Chad Kelly, has had a good evening so far as well with 219 passing yards and three touchdowns to move into fourth in SEC history for most passing yards in a season. In total, Ole Miss has racked up 337 yards of offense while the Rebels have allowed just 156 yards to Oklahoma State’s defense.
Oklahoma State converted just two of nine third-down attempts in the first half, but the Cowboys seemed to get its offense going on its last possession of the half, although the Cowboys had to settle for three points inside the red zone. Ole Miss did not have much time left but made every second count and ended the half with the screen pass to Tunsil.
This is already ugly, and there is still one more half to play.
It was all but expected Notre Dame’s standout left tackle Ronnie Stanley would be leaving the Irish for a shot in the NFL in 2016. After being among the handful of names from the Notre Dame roster to be submitted to the NFL Draft advisory board for feedback, it appears all systems are go for Stanley. Stanley will reportedly enter the 2016 NFL Draft, thus forgoing his senior season in South Bend next fall.
Josh Norris of Rotoworld recently touched on Stanley’s pro potential with Inside the Irish, comparing him to Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss and suggesting his likely matchup against Joey Bosa of Ohio State in the upcoming Fiesta Bowl will have plenty of scouts paying particularly close attention.
“I remain a big fan of Stanley’s. Sure, he was beat a few times against Clemson and sprinkled in some other “losses” against other teams, but all tackles lose,” Norris said to Inside The Irish this week. “I think he offers great size, length and athleticism, which can equal power. He and Laremy Tunsil will compete for the top tackle spot.”
How did Stanley stack up against some of the top offensive linemen this season? Favorably, it could be argued.
One of the more bizarre offseason stories centered around Ole Miss offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and his altercation with his stepfather. The two filed lawsuits against each other that have since been dropped, but not before Tunsil’s stepfather dropped a potentially juicy bit of information that caught the attention of the NCAA offices. Tunsil was said to be associating with sports agents, which of course would be a violation of NCAA rules. Since that information was revealed, the NCAA and Ole Miss have begun checkiing out the story, but that was not able to conclude before the start of the season.
A statement from Ole Miss on Saturday morning announced the school will hold Tunsil out of the season opener while the NCAA continues to investigate Tunsil’s eligibility.
Temperatures may have reached a boiling point between Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and his stepfather, but it seems the two have agreed to keep their family business in house instead of pursue legal action against one another. Domestic violence charges against each other are expected to be formally dropped on Monday, according to a report from Riley Blevins of The Clarion-Ledger.
Per the information in the report out of Oxford, Mississippi, lawyers for both have mutually agreed to have their clients sign a dismissal from earlier this week, thereby requesting to a local judge to review and drop the charges previously filed. Tunsil reportedly punched his stepfather in defense of his mother. Tunsil’s stepfather, Lindsey Miller, claimed tensions rose when an argument over Tunsil’s connection to sports agents flared up. The NCAA has since opened an investigation into Tunsil’s alleged connection to agents.
Whatever happened is now behind both men, and hopefully things have been smoothed over. Ole Miss suspended Tunsil from the team while the legal process played out, but head coach Hugh Freeze has seemed understanding of the situation from the jump and should be expected to find it appropriate to welcome Tunsil back to the program as quickly as possible.
That is, of course, as long as the NCAA investigation does not yield any rules violations. For that to happen, the NCAA will have to find incriminating evidence through testimony from witnesses. Miller would seem to be the first person the NCAA would wish to speak to, but now that he and Tunsil have agreed to drop charges who knows how cooperative he would want to be with the NCAA.
Don’t expect much to come out of this mildly twisted saga.