Five former American Family Insurance ALL-USA football players were selected Thursday in the first round of the NFL Draft. All were named ALL-USA in the fall of 2012, including one player who was a two-time selection.
JOEY BOSA, ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.)
Named to the ALL-USA second team as a high school senior, the defensive end was selected third overall by the San Diego Chargers, the first defensive player taken in the draft. The 6-foot-5, 269-pound Bosa was one of college football’s most productive defenders in his three years at Ohio State. He was a two-time All-American and had 26 career sacks, though he tallied just five in his final season.
Some had criticized Bosa for his laid-back demeanor and might have landed in the right place to fit his style.
“I think I am laid back,” Bosa told reporters. “I think it’s something that helps me. And now I get to go out to San Diego, probably the most laid-back place in the country. So I’m a chill guy, and I think I play better when I’m relaxed and out there having fun.
“There’s no switch I have to turn on. I don’t have to become this person I’m not. When I’m out on the field, I’m a football player. That’s who I am, and I go out there every day and play football.”
VERNON HARGREAVES III, WHARTON (TAMPA)
Named to the ALL-USA first team as a high school senior, the cornerback was chosen No. 11 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will get to return to his hometown after playing for Florida. He tied for the Gators team lead in 2015 with four interceptions (152 return yards) and had 33 tackles as a first-team All-American and All-SEC selection. He was named All-SEC in each of his three years with the Gators.
“I’m excited to be back home,” Hargreaves told reporters after he was selected. “It’s surreal. I don’t know what to feel right now. I’m super excited and kind of ready to get started. Of course, it doesn’t get better than this, being drafted by your home team. I live 40 minutes from the facilities and I’m able to see my mom when I want to now. It’s great.”
LAREMY TUNSIL, COLUMBIA (LAKE CITY, FLA.)
Named to the ALL-USA first team as a high school senior, the offensive tackle was taken No. 13 overall by the Miami Dolphins after one of the more difficult draft nights in recent memory. Tunsil was projected as a top 10 pick, but just before the draft a video of Tunsil smoking out of a bong fashioned out of a gas mask was posted onto his Twitter account.
“It was a mistake. Happened years ago. Someone hacked my Twitter account,” Tunsil told reporters. “I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know how they are hacking my phone, and hacking my Instagram. … I do not have a drug problem. You can check all my college tests.”
Then, the hacker hit Tunsil’s Instagram account showing a series of alleged text messages between Tunsil and John Miller, assistant athletic director for football operations, in which the player asks for money to help with his bills. In a brief news conference after his selection, Tunsil acknowledged that happened and said it was a mistake.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said they were “very comfortable” with the information they have and said, “this is an opportunity we had to take.”
LAQUON TREADWELL, CRETE-MONEE (CRETE, ILL.)
Named to the ALL-USA first team in 2012, the wide receiver was selected No. 23 overall by the Minnesota Vikings. A three-year starter at Ole Miss, Treadwell is the career leading receiver in Ole Miss history with 202 career receptions and finished third in school history with 2,393 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns.
“From the day I went and visited the Vikings, from the first time I walked in and got off the bus, I knew it was a first-class organization,” said Treadwell, noting that he was surprised to fall to No. 23. “The men in that building really hold themselves to a high standard and they just do things the right way. [Coach Mike Zimmer] really got personal with me. He told me if I was there at No. 23, they were going to draft me. I ended up being there.”
ROBERT NKEMDICHE, GRAYSON (LOGANVILLE, GA.)
A two-time ALL-USA selection in 2011 and 2012, Nkemdiche was selected by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 29 overall. Nkemdiche’s stock tumbled when he fell out of a hotel window last December and was suspended for the Sugar Bowl. Police found marijuana in the room.
Only 21, Nkemdiche has the size (6-feet-3 ½ inches and 296 pounds) to play every position on the defensive line, general manager Steve Keim told AZCentral. If not for the off-field incidents, Nkemdiche likely would have been picked in the top 10.
“We spent more time with him personally than anybody else in this draft,” Keim said. “He is a guy we feel like we’ve gotten to know extremely well. The incident happened, it was an embarrassing situation for him. We feel like that’s in the rear-view mirror.”