Waiting on Laremy

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said progress has been made regarding the playing status of junior left tackle Laremy Tunsil.

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For whatever that’s worth.

The Rebels have entered their fifth week of the season. Tunsil, however, remains in limbo. A contingent representing Tunsil traveled to meet with the NCAA in its headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., last week, sources told the Ole Miss Spirit. The meeting was productive.

“Again, I’ve been told that a lot of progress has been made and they are really trying to get him back on the field as soon as possible,” Freeze said.

“We’ve taken the approach of making sure he stays ready physically. Our strength staff is continuing to work with him. There’s no other way to keep him prepared besides to rely on his smarts, his strength and his athleticism, and not him getting into practice. We’re proceeding that we won’t have him, but he’s been in our system long enough, and he’s athletic enough, that he should be able to function when it is time.”

Ole Miss (4-0, 2-0 SEC) is No. 3 in the country without Tunsil, with an offense that ranks second nationally in scoring at 54.8 points per game. Senior Fahn Cooper - usually the team’s acting right tackle - has played in place of Tunsil in all four games. He was named SEC offensive lineman of the week on Monday.

“We’re in it together, all of us,” junior quarterback Chad Kelly said. “We just take it day by day. If he’s there, he’s there. If he’s not, then he’s not. But I’d be more than happy to have him back, that’s for sure.”

“Just a confidence boost. He brings more swagger to the o-line, I’d say,” junior wide receiver Laquon Treadwell said. “With him being so good, it makes those other guys more comfortable. They’re able to miss on a block or do certain things they can’t do right now and he’ll make up for it on that side. He’s just a great player, and that’s what great players do. He brings that comfort level to the o-line, that swagger. He’s different. He’s unique.”

Tunsil was a preseason All-American and All-SEC selection, and he was named to watch lists for the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. A two-year starter at left tackle, Tunsil made several All-America and All-SEC teams a year ago.

He’s allowed only two sacks in his entire college career.

“It’s tough on him. He wants to be out there,” Treadwell said. “He talks about it. He asks certain players who’ve been out the first couple of weeks how they felt about it. That’s why he asked them because he thought he was losing his mind. He wants to be out there. He’s around in the locker room, he’s being positive. He’s handling it the right way.”

Sources indicate there’s optimism Ole Miss could potentially hear something this week. Then again, there’s been optimism before. All the Rebels can do is wait and prepare for Florida.

Ole Miss will take on the Gators in Gainesville Saturday at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN.

“He doesn’t really know,” Treadwell said. “He’s hoping and wishing and praying. He’s doing all the little things right and working hard whenever he gets a chance to work out. We all really don’t know.

“We’re just waiting on that day.”

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