By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Ole Miss fans and players were eagerly awaiting news that Laremy Tunsil would soon rejoin the team.
Rebels tackle Fahn Cooper may be the only person who received that news from Cleveland.
A friend with whom Cooper played at Bowling Green earlier in his career sent him a text saying, “Your boy Larry's back.”
Laremy, not Larry, is back with the Rebels, although he won't be game eligible until next week when Ole Miss is at home against Texas A&M.
The Rebels on Tuesday continued preparation for Memphis.
Tunsil, who has been projected to be a top-five overall draft pick, has been the subject of an NCAA investigation throughout this season. Only late Monday afternoon did the school receive word that Tunsil will be eligible for the last five games and a bowl game.
That gives him a seven-game suspension for a half dozen violations listed by the school in a news release.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said it was around 5 or 6 o'clock that he was told the news and met with Tunsil.
“We're very relieved to get the answer and for it to be over and we can move on and get him ready to play,” Freeze said. “Any time you have things going on in your program that you have zero control over, it's not the most comfortable feeling, and that one seemed to go on for a long time, and you weren't sure why it was going on for that length of time.”
Tunsil ran through several periods with the second-team offensive line, then did conditioning work with the strength staff for the remainder of Tuesday's practice.
Freeze said he believes he did a good job of keeping his frustrations in check in front of players and coaches but admits sometimes it was tougher when he was alone.
“I don't think it was a big distraction for us,” Freeze said, “but it was something that was always hovering over you. Whether you're talking to media or you're going uptown to get something to eat, you're going to get asked that question.”