Ole Miss’s Treadwell, Tunsil will enter NFL draft
Published 10:05 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Mississippi receiver Laquon Treadwell is heading to the NFL. So is left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Both players declared for the draft just three days after starring in the team’s emphatic Sugar Bowl win over Oklahoma State. Treadwell caught three touchdowns passes and Tunsil scored the only touchdown of his career on a trick play, catching a lateral and running for a 2-yard score.
The school released separate statements announcing both players’ decision hours apart on Monday.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Treadwell leaves Ole Miss with several school records and led the Southeastern Conference with 1,153 yards receiving this season. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Tunsil anchored the Rebels’ offensive line for three seasons.
Neither player’s decision is surprising: Both are widely considered a first round pick three years after being among the nation’s top recruits.
Treadwell played all 13 games this season – helping Ole Miss to a 10-win season – one year after breaking his leg in a game against Auburn. His unique combination of strength and speed made him the Rebels’ most consistent playmaker.
“After sitting down with my family, we have decided it is time for me to take the next step in my career and enter the 2016 NFL draft,” Treadwell said in the school’s statement. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL, and I can’t thank my teammates, coaches and our great fans enough for their unbelievable support since the first day I stepped foot on campus.”
Treadwell’s final game at Ole Miss was one of his best. He caught three touchdown passes from Chad Kelly and even threw a 45-yard completion to Jordan Wilkins on a trick play as Ole Miss beat Oklahoma State 48-20 in the Sugar Bowl.
As Treadwell stood on the postgame podium following the Sugar Bowl win, Ole Miss fans chanted “One more year!” But his eventual decision to leave appeared inevitable.
“It was an honor to have coached Laquon, and our family will miss him greatly,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “The commitment that he and others in his class made to our program three years ago has changed the culture of Ole Miss.”
Tunsil was suspended for the first seven games of this season after the NCAA deemed he received improper benefits. He started the final six games, helping the Rebels go 5-1 over that span.
“I’m proud of what my class accomplished, and I know even bigger things are ahead for this program,” Tunsil said. “I cannot thank the fans enough for how they embraced me and made my time in Oxford so special.”
Freeze said that he will “always be grateful for the opportunity (Tunsil) gave us three years ago, and I look forward to seeing him walk across the stage at this year’s NFL Draft.”
Treadwell and Tunsil join defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche in declaring for the NFL draft.
Nkemdiche announced his decision last month after he was suspended from the Sugar Bowl following an incident in Atlanta when he fell from a hotel window and was charged with possession of marijuana.
By Davis Brandt, AP Sports Writer