Laremy Tunsil: I'm the only one who knows my true character

ByJames Walker ESPN logo
Saturday, May 7, 2016

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins first-round pick Laremy Tunsil was in a much better mood Saturday compared to a week ago, when he initially missed his introductory news conference because of an allergic reaction and then offered terse answers when he finally appeared before reporters.

A happy, joking Tunsil met with the media and was all smiles following the second day of rookie minicamp.

Tunsil emphasized that his character shouldn't be in question and that it is up to him to prove that to the Dolphins.

"I'm not worried about that, everybody got their own opinions," Tunsil said Saturday. "I'm the only one who knows what kind of true character I have."

It has been a whirlwind nine days for Tunsil, starting with his fall to the Dolphins at No. 13 in the NFL draft after a video surfaced on social media of him wearing a gas mask and smoking a bong. Tunsil and his representatives said his social media accounts were hacked.

At a post-draft news conference, Tunsil also admitted to taking money from a coach at Ole Miss.

Tunsil did not want to get into specifics of his situation Saturday. Lingering issues remain at Ole Miss and with the NCAA, but Tunsil mostly said he's moving forward.

"Man, you live and you learn," Tunsil said. "But hey, I'm glad to be here. I'm glad to be with this team. I'm glad to be going through this weekend, get to meet the coaches, get to meet some of the players, get to meet some of the vets. I'm blessed just to be here."

Dolphins coach Adam Gase said it looked like Tunsil was just glad to be focusing on football again.

"When you go through, kind of, that whole process, I'm sure if any of us went through that on draft day, it will be interesting to see how everybody else reacted," Gase said. "I thought he handled it great. He did a good job last week in the press conference, and I think he's just happy to be back in the building, getting back to football, doing what he loves."

Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said he was very excited when Tunsil fell to them on draft night. Christensen said you can't find good left tackles "in the classifieds" and that Tunsil will help immediately regardless of what position he plays in his rookie season.

"He's such a good player," Christensen said. "I don't think my wildest dreams that we had a chance of him falling that far and us having a chance to get him. Especially after going from No. 8 to No. 13, I just didn't see him as a possibility."

Tunsil said he's willing to contribute wherever the Dolphins decide to play him on the offensive line.

"Wherever they put me, I'm going to give it my all," Tunsil said. "If they put me at quarterback, I'm going to do a seven-step dropback and throw the pass. If they put me at tight end, I'm going to catch the ball. Wherever they put me, I'm going to give it my all."

Tunsil clarified the allergic reaction he had last week that forced him to miss his introductory news conference. The rookie said he ate mahi-mahi (which, coincidentally, is also known as dolphinfish) for the first time and got sick.

"Never again," Tunsil said. "I can't go through that again."

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