“Trusting Laremy Tunsil”
Well that was some kind of NFL draft weekend for Laremy Tunsil, the All American offensive tackle from Mississippi.
From the top of the mountain, into the gutter, and now trying to build a bridge to get his credibility back.
Tunsil was viewed as a top three NFL draft prospect going in. He tumbled all the way to 13th on the board, treated as if he was radio-active, till the Miami Dolphins selected him mid-round.
It was 24-hours of furor over the Ole Miss left tackle. The night before the draft, his stepfather filed a lawsuit asking for damages from a domestic abuse case from a year ago, a reported Tunsil fight with the man, with the player saying he was protecting his mother from further abuse from tthe husband.
When you hear of these type of stories, right before the draft, you expect the words ‘setup- or ‘smear’ or ‘agendas’ to follow.
But then minutes before the draft began on Friday, came the social media revelation, a video of Tunsil wearing a Gas Mask, smoking a bong, ingesting drugs, and pulling it off his head and then smiling.
And a day after the draft, Tunsil posted comments he had asked for and was given cash by an Ole Miss assistant to help pay his bills. Nothing like throwing your Alma Mater under the NCAA bus.
You’d thought a skunk had gotten loose in the draft room, as NFL clubs ran as fast as they could away from the left tackle. What a nitemare too in the post-draft interview sessions, two of which were cut short and one cancelled completely.
Of course Tunsil’s track record at Ole Miss left tons of questions too. Yes he was the cornerstone of quality players who have helped bring the Rebels back to some form of SEC-and national prominence. But there was a rep he was really lazy and not dedicated to his craft. Reports surfaced he was a Mama’s boy, spoiled and believing he was entitled.
But the track record also included him being in the hotel room with teammatge Robert Nkemdiche, drinking, with possible drugs, when the defensive tackle fell out of a hotel window onto the street below. Nkemdiche did not suffer injuries, but his reputation took such a hit, that he came tumbling down the draft board too, till the Arizona Cardinals took him at the end of the first round.
Tunsil of course sat out the first 7-games of the Ole Mis sseason under an NCAA suspension. This for possible involvement with an agent. This for illegal use of 3-rented cards. This for possible acceptance of a token fee. This included allegations he wasn’t forthcoming with NCAA lawyers when they showed up on the Oxford campus.
The Dolphins say they knew of the Gas Mask video, and say that incident was in 2014, and that Tunsil never failed an Ole Miss drug test, and tested clean at the NFL combine.
In the big picture, maybe he is just an immature kid. Maybe the Dolphins have stolen a player who will grow up and turn out to be a star in the league, based on his physcial talents. Mlaybe putting him into an NFL culture with coaches and veteran players to guide him will help. Of course the Dolphins mailing address is close to South Beach, and you know what that party atmosphere is like.
And it’s not like the Dolphins haven’t had experience dealing with player issues a-la-Richie Incognito-Jonathon Martin and the Hazing Club.
Or maybe Tunsil is just one dumb-bad dude who doesn’t get it. Hey that stuff happens every year Just ask the Cleveland Browns about the Johnny Football experience with last year’s knucklehead quarterback Johnny Manziel.
The kid cost himself alot of money, cost himself all his credibility. But that never stopped NFL teams before, why should it stop Miami.
New reality show coming, Trusting Tunsil. Don’t know if it will rival ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’. Stay tuned though.