Ole Miss

UPDATE: Ole Miss' Treadwell, Tunsil declare for NFL draft

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD 
 Laquon Treadwell enjoys a shower of red and blue confetti after Ole Miss defeated OSU at All State Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD Laquon Treadwell enjoys a shower of red and blue confetti after Ole Miss defeated OSU at All State Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. SUN HERALD

To the surprise of no one except maybe the most diehard of Ole Miss fans, receiver Laquon Treadwell and left tackle Laremy Tunsil have declared for the NFL draft and will forgo their senior seasons.

The duo announced their decisions through the school Monday.

"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," he said in a 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.

"No matter how far life may take us, I will always be an Ole Miss Rebel. God bless."

The announcement comes just three days after scoring three touchdowns in Ole Miss' 48-20 blowout victory over Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

While Treadwell was on the stage post-game, the pro-Ole Miss crowd chanted "One more year! One more year!"

Afterword, Treadwell became emotional thinking about the chant.

"It's just something that came out," Treadwell said of the tears. "It's something I felt at the podium."

Treadwell, projected by many as the top receiver in April's draft, owns 12 school records. Among them, most career catches (202), most single-season receptions (82), most single-season receiving yards (1,153) and most single-season touchdowns (11).

Treadwell, an All-America and All-SEC selection, led all SEC players in 2015 with 1,153 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. His career receptions are the seventh-most in conference history.

"It was an honor to have coached Laquon, and our family will miss him greatly. The commitment that he and others in his class made to our program three years ago has changed the culture of Ole Miss," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement. "I'm so proud of what he accomplished here, and I look forward to seeing him continue to grow and shine as a player and a person."

High hopes

While Treadwell is expected to be the top receiver selected in the draft, Tunsil is projected by some as the draft's top talent.

"After weighing the decision with my family, I will forgo my senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft. It's been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, and I'm excited about the challenge in front of me," Tunsil said in a statement. "I will always cherish my time at Ole Miss and the relationships with my teammates, coaches and staff. Those are my brothers, and I will always be a Rebel. I'm proud of what my class accomplished, and I know even bigger things are ahead for this program. I cannot thank the fans enough for how they embraced me and made my time in Oxford so special. I am going to bring the same passion to the NFL that I brought to Vaught-Hemingway and will make Rebel Nation proud every Sunday."

During his career, Tunsil was a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC selection. In 29 games, Tunsil was personally responsible for just two sacks. Almost from Day 1, Tunsil assumed the left tackle job. He blends strength with athletic ability that is rare in 6-foot-5, 305-pound linemen. That athleticism was on display in the Sugar Bowl when Tunsil caught a pass from quarterback Chad Kelly and easily scored from 2 yards out.

"Few players have brought more joy to my life than Laremy Tunsil, and I'm so proud to see him take this next step in his life," Freeze said. "I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave us three years ago, and I look forward to seeing him walk across the stage at this year's NFL Draft. With his spirit, hard work and determination, he has a bright future ahead of him."

Treadwell and Tunsil join teammate Robert Nkemdiche, who declared for the draft after being suspended for the Sugar Bowl.

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