This past offseason, Laremy Tunsil headed to the small town of Lynchburg, Virginia with a singular goal in mind.
To be named First-Team All-Pro.
Tunsil, now in his seventh NFL season and fourth with the Houston Texans, felt he was the best left tackle in the league and wanted the recognition to prove it..
"That was the main goal in the whole off season when I was training in Lynchburg, Virginia, is that I want to become a first team All-Pro because I feel like I deserve it," Tunsil said.
About 114 miles west of Richmond, Lynchburg sits in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tucked away from the rest of society, Tunsil was also tucked away working on himself. After a disappointing 2021 campaign where he missed all but five games with a hand injury, Tunsil wanted to bounce back stronger than ever before. He teamed up with his former Ole Miss strength and conditioning coach, Dominic Studzinksi, working at Liberty University.
"I don't know if anybody's familiar with Lynchburg, Virginia, but there's nothing there," Tunsil said. "There's nothing there besides the University of Liberty. And the guy that I trained with, his name is Dominic Studzinski. He has just got the head strength job at Auburn. Me and him would work out two times a day, lower body, conditioning, upper body, no matter what it took just to get it done."
This season, Tunsil graded out as best pass blocking grade among all lineman (91.3), according to Pro Football Focus. PFF also credits him with only surrendering one sack on the year, making him 1-of-4 tackles in the NFL who have allowed fewer than 2.0 sacks. Tunsil faced some of the NFL's top pass rushers this season, including Myles Garrett (CLE), Micah Parsons (DAL), Maxx Crosby (LV) and Chris Jones (KC).
"He just erases guys, what more can I say? If he erases that guy on the left side, that helps everybody," Texans offensive line coach George Warhop said.
In the run game, Tunsil helped pave the way for a standout rookie campaign for RB Dameon Pierce, named as a Pro Bowl alternate. Warhop understands Tunsil's desire to be the best.
"He's extremely consistent and he takes it very personal," Warhop said. "He's not one that displays that stuff but being a good player is very, very important to him, us being successful is very, very important to him. Laremy is kind of a quiet guy. You don't always get that from him but when you're around him, you really grow to appreciate how important it is for him and to him for us to be successful."
With two games remaining, Tunsil will be wrapping up his third Pro Bowl season in four years. Will All-Pro be next?
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