Monday, January 21, 2013
Tunsil targeted by UGA coaches, players
By Kipp Adams
The University of Georgia only had one official visitor on campus last weekend, but it was a big one. Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), the No. 5 prospect in the country, was in Athens one week after visiting his other leader, Alabama.
Tunsil has been on campus at Georgia before, but this trip was not about checking out the campus. The elite prospect chronicled his second official visit.
On Friday evening, Tunsil hung out with several players at Georgia, including an emerging star in the SEC.
“Mainly this trip was a chance for me to get to know the players,” Tunsil said. “My host was Todd Gurley and he is a pretty good guy. He definitely let me know he wants me blocking for him the next few years.”
On Saturday, the five-star prospect met with offensive line coach Will Friend, who has recruited Tunsil extensively in the last two years since arriving at Georgia.
“We watched film and he showed me what I needed to work on,” Tunsil said. “I would love to play for him and I think that if I did, I would become a great player in my perspective because he brings a lot to the table as a coach.”
Although he sees few differences in the depth chart at Alabama and Georgia, Tunsil does see an opportunity to make an impact early for the Bulldogs.
“I feel if I came in and put in the work, I could play left tackle for Georgia next season,” Tunsil said. “I guess it would be pretty cool to play opposite of John Theus.”
Later on that day, the 6-foot-6, 296-pound offensive tackle was targeted by several players at Georgia in a way Tunsil had never experienced before.
“Some of the players took me out to play paintball,” Tunsil said. “It was my first time playing and it helped me get that bond going with some of the players like Brice Ramsey and Nathan Theus. I got hit a lot but it was fun.”
Tunsil and Ramsey became friends early on in the recruiting process, and the two played within an hour of Jacksonville, Fla. Last weekend gave them a chance to spend more time together.
“I talked to Brice a little bit about Georgia, but mostly we just joke around at this point,” Tunsil said. “He said he loves it there at UGA so far.”
Following his first foray into competitive paintball, the No. 1 offensive lineman in the country had dinner "between the hedges."
“We ate at Sanford Stadium,” Tunsil said. “We had a little bit of everything – Baked beans, macaroni & cheese, ribs – my kind of food. It was a nice atmosphere at night in the stadium with the highlights going on the video screen.”
Saturday night brought more free time with the players at Georgia.
Before he left to return home, Tunsil attended church with Mark Richt, which he said was nice. Then he had one last meeting with Friend.
“I went to meet with Coach Friend and it was the same ole, same ole,” Tunsil said. “Like the other coaches, he did not really have a message for me. He just wanted me to have a good time and feel at home.”
His mother accompanied Tunsil on his official, and the Bulldogs once again left a good impression on her.
“My mom loved it at Georgia, too,” Tunsil said.
While he has not given many updates recently, Tunsil recommended avoiding one source of info online, which he confirmed is highly inaccurate.
“@LaremyTunsil is not me on Twitter,” Tunsil said. “I do not have an account and I dropped Facebook. It is kind of funny that someone would pretend to be me, but it is kind of scary, too.”
Tunsil believes there are few differences between the back-to-back national champion Crimson tide and back-to-back SEC East champion Bulldogs.
“Things are still the same with me,” Tunsil said. “Alabama and Georgia are similar in most areas and they are both winning programs. You cannot go wrong with either. I do not really know where I want to go and it is hard, but God will lead me in the right direction.”
Up next is an official visit to check out the Ole Miss Rebels, with a signing day decision on tap.
“I have never been to Ole Miss before, so I do not really know what to look for,” Tunsil said. “I plan to announce my decision on signing day at 9:30 a.m. on ESPNU.”