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Top-rated OT Laremy Tunsil to enter draft

Two-time All-American offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil will skip his junior season at Ole Miss and enter the NFL draft, he announced Monday.

Tunsil is the top-rated offensive tackle by ESPN's Todd McShay and is ranked No. 5 overall.

"After weighing the decision with my family, I will forgo my senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft," said Tunsil in a statement. "It's been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, and I'm excited about the challenge in front of me. 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."

After serving a seven-game suspension this season for violating NCAA rules, Tunsil rebounded by dominating opponents, including several pass rushers who will be drafted highly in the upcoming draft.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Tunsil was part of an Ole Miss recruiting class with defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell -- both also leaving as juniors -- that helped coach Hugh Freeze alter the perception of his program.

"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," said Freeze in a statement. "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."

Tunsil ended his career by catching a touchdown pass in a Sugar Bowl rout of Oklahoma State.