A bizarre video that was posted on Laremy Tunsils Twitter account minutes before the start of the NFL draft potentially cost the offensive lineman millions of dollars
The 30-second video, which showed a person smoking from a mask equipped with a bong, was posted to Tunsils verified Twitter account before quickly being deleted. The entire account was deactivated shortly afterwards but the video added to the perception that Tunsil has off-the-field problems.
While it is unclear if it was Tunsil in the video, or what was actually going on, it appeared to impact the left tackles draft stock.
The excruciating wait for Tunsil, considered a potential No1 pick in the draft, finally ended when the Miami Dolphins took him with the 13th overall pick. When asked about the video immediately after the Dolphins selection, Tunsil didnt confirm or deny that he was the person in it, only saying that he was blessed to be a part of the NFL and that his Twitter account was hacked.
Somebody hacked my account, man, Tunsil said. You know I made that mistake several years ago. Somehow, somebody got in my photos and hacked my Twitter account and somebody hacked my Instagram account, so its crazy. I cant control that, man. I can control what I control.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said the team had been aware of the videos existence well before the draft, and said it was two years old.
His college coach, Mississippis Hugh Freeze, was at the draft with Tunsil. He said Tunsil was at the center of some unfortunate events and that he was a humble and hard-working young man. First of all, I believe in him, Freeze told ESPN. That doesnt mean mistakes have not happened. … I assure you thats not who he is.
Tunsil was considered a potential top overall pick before the Tennessee Titans traded the pick to the Los Angeles Rams, and was a three-year starter at Mississippi.
The Titans had a chance to take Tunsil with the eighth overall pick after a trade with the Cleveland Browns, but Tennessee passed on him, selecting Michigan State left tackle Jack Conklin instead.
Tunsil sat out the seasons first seven games of his junior season after the NCAA ruled he received improper benefits, including the use of three loaner cars over a six-month period.
His stepfather reportedly filed a lawsuit against him Tuesday related to a confrontation in June, when the men were both charged with domestic violence against each other. Those charges were eventually dismissed.
Tunsil is one of two Ole Miss players in this years draft who have had off-the-field issues overshadow productive college football careers. Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche was charged with possession of marijuana following a 15-foot fall at a hotel in Atlanta in December.