Former Ole Miss left tackle driven to be the best

Laremy Tunsil said Wednesday he doesn’t pay attention to the flood of mock drafts that pop up this time of year.

If he did, though, he’d see he’s widely considered the favorite to be selected by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 1 pick in April's NFL Draft. 

But Tunsil isn’t naive. He knows his talent, and the multitude of questions he received at the NFL scouting combine often came back to his status as a sure-fire top-3 selection. He said he plans to participate in all drills this week in Indianapolis, Ind. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds with 34 1/4-inch arms.

“Everybody wants to be the No. 1 pick,” he said. Parrish Alford of the Daily Journal provided the quotes for this report. “Being the No. 1 pick would be great. I’d love to play for any team. That’s been my goal since I was a little kid, man, just to accomplish one of them goals, it would be great. I just try to tell teams that I’m a great guy, a humble guy, a working man just dedicated to the game.

“You always want to labeled the best. You want to have that confidence in yourself of being the best tackle in the draft. I think I have the great feet, the great frame. I just think I’m the best. You’ve got to have that swagger about yourself. You’ve got to be confident. Everywhere you go you’ve got to have that confidence.”

There’s no guarantee Tunsil will end up with the Titans, of course. They could opt for one of the top defenders in the draft like Jalen Ramsey of Florida State or Joey Bosa of Ohio State, or trade back in exchange for more draft picks or assets.

“Whatever decision we finalize in April, we just want to come out of it a better football team,” Titans GM Jon Robinson said. “That’s the most important thing.”

“They’re a pretty good franchise,” Tunsil said. “They had a little down season. Hopefully they draft me, and I can help them win games. I think I’m a hard worker, a humble guy. I’m low key. Don’t do much, man.”

The San Diego Chargers have a need for a left tackle at No. 3, and the Cleveland Browns - should they opt against taking a quarterback and if Tunsil is left on the board - could certainly use a potential franchise cornerstone.

Tunsil said he would welcome any opportunity.

“Actually, I would love to go to the Chargers,” said Tunsil, who is represented by Jimmy Sexton, the same agent as Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. “Like I said, I would love to play for any team. I haven’t talked to them, but hopefully I will.”

Tunsil said he’s done a lot of explosion work - including dead lifts, RDLs and more - in order to become the first offensive lineman since Orlando Pace since 1997 to be selected No. 1 overall. He’s trained at XOS in San Diego, Calif.

He’s committed to being the best he can be and working for what he deemed a childhood dream. All that’s left is for a team to make a commitment to him. His goal is to run in the 4.8-4.9 range in the 40-yard dash, as well as to bench press 225 25-plus times.

“I will tell them, ‘Hey I’ve got great feet, man. I’m here to protect (Marcus) Mariota,” Tunsil said, when asked of what his sales pitch would be to the Titans. “I will put it all on the line. I will give them everything I can to protect Mariota.”

Tunsil Leftovers: 

On his former Ole Miss teammate, defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche:

“A lot of people don’t know about Rob, man. He’s a great guy, a humble guy. He had a little few off-the-field incidents, but you know ... you have little hiccups.”

On if he’s had to answer any questions about the NCAA suspension:

“(Laughs) I don’t think that matters any more. I hope not. (Laughs some more.)”

On what he’s working on:

“Being vocal. I’m so shy. I’m a shy guy, man.  I’m working on being more vocal, the main thing.”

On if he ever thought about skipping his junior season as he sat for suspension:

“Of course you have thoughts, missing seven games, the NCAA not returning your calls or nothing like that. You’re going to have thoughts. I had to sit down with coach Freeze and really talk to him about it. I talked to my momma, talked to coach Freeze. Wanted to be with my teammates. Didn’t want to leave my teammates at all. We’re brothers.”

On his former teammate, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell:

“Just his blocking man. Haven’t y’all seen him block? His blocking skills, his catching skills. You ain’t going to never find a receiver like that again, man.”

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