When Laremy Tunsil met with reporters Friday at his introductory press conference with the Miami Dolphins, he refused to answer questions about his admission Thursday night that he accepted money from an Ole Miss coach, a potential NCAA violation.
Tunsil, who fell out of the top 10 and was taken 13th overall by Miami, was asked about Ole Miss’ plan to investigate the text messages that an unknown hacker posted on Tunsil’s Instagram account during the NFL draft. The text messages appeared to be between Tunsil and an Ole Miss staff member, with Tunsil apparently asking for help to pay his rent and his mother’s electric bill.
“I’m just here to talk about the Miami Dolphins,” Tunsil told reporters throughout the seven-minute press conference.
Tunsil, of course, was the story of the NFL draft’s first round. Just before the start of the draft, someone hacked into his Twitter account and posted a video of him smoking out of a bong attached to a gas mask. Tunsil later acknowledged that it is him in the video, but that it is from several years ago.
Whether due to the video or other factors, Tunsil slid further than anyone expected.
Moments after being drafted, someone hacked Tunsil’s Instagram account and posted two screenshots of text messages allegedly between Tunsil and John Miller, Ole Miss’ head of football operations.
During his press conference after being selected by the Dolphins, Tunsil admitted that he received money from an Ole Miss coach.
Ole Miss issued a statement late Thursday night, saying they will investigate and cooperate with the SEC and NCAA.
Tunsil, whose life in the NFL began under extreme chaos, didn’t seem too impacted by the turn of events.
“It’s been good to me,” Tunsil told reporters Friday about the past 24 hours. “I’m drafted. I’m in the NFL, so I’m happy.”
Tunsil said he received a text message from Dolphins quarterback and former Texas A&M star Ryan Tannehill after being drafted.
“That’s exciting to know he has my back,” Tunsil said.
Most pressing now for Tunsil is where he’ll fit in. Offensive tackle wasn’t a major need for the Dolphins, so some have wondered if Tunsil will start out at guard.
“Anywhere they put me will be fine, man,” Tunsil said. “If coach wants me to play quarterback, wide receiver or tight end — hopefully tight end, but whatever he wants me to play.”