Several years ago, Noah Spence tested positive for Ecstasy on multiple occasions and he was eventually suspended by the Big Ten. The Ohio State standout had to finish his college career at Eastern Kentucky. And Ole Miss star Robert Nkemdiche admitted he was drunk when he fell from a fourth-floor hotel window in Atlanta last December while with his teammates.
Despite those obvious (and dreaded) "off-field concerns," both players could be first-round picks in Thursday's NFL Draft.
This brings us to former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple, who until Tuesday, seemed to be free and clear of the red flags that haunt Spence and Nkemdiche. Of course, in the days leading up to the draft, where anonymous scouting reports only add to the subterfuge and obfuscation, "red flags" take on an entirely new meaning.
Here's how one nameless scout described Apple to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn: "I worry about him because of off-the-field issues. The kid has no life skills. At all. Can't cook. Just a baby. He's not first round for me. He scares me to death."
Apple, who is just 20, had no previously known "off-the-field issues." But you can only hide from your past for so long. THE MAN CAN NOT COOK. This would be unacceptable if he had aspirations to become a celebrity chef. Or, you know, he couldn't actually cook.
This is from Apple's mother, Annie Apple.
Btw, Eli's dad is a retired five star chef. We eat well. So stop playing with our name. Next time you say our name, put some respeck on it— Annie Apple (@SurvivinAmerica) April 27, 2016
Oh, and there's this:
Eli Apple on anonymous scout saying he can't cook: "False! I was one of the best cooks on the team. I used to cook breakfast all the time."— Bart Hubbuch (@BartHubbuch) April 27, 2016
There's more good news! Apple wants to play professional football, where the team provides many of the meals. And with that new salary, one that will pay him handsomely, Apple could even consider hiring a nutritionist and personal chef to make his meals for him. Since he'll be busy at his other job.
Worth noting: For someone with "no life skills," Apple seemed to handle himself quite well when a Falcons assistant coach asked him a bizarre -- and possibly illegal -- question about his sexuality at the NFL combine in February.
"I've been asked a lot of weird questions," Apple conceded during an interview last month. "I don't know if I could say on TV. The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, 'So do you like men?' It was like the first thing he asked me. It was weird. I was just like, 'No.' He was like, 'if you're going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that's how it is around here, you're going to have to get used to it.' I guess he was joking but they just ask most of these questions to see how you're going to react."
Aside from Apple's alleged inability to make a grilled cheese sandwich, he's considered one of the best cornerbacks in the draft. In the latest round of CBSSports.com mock drafts, he's slated to go anywhere from 14th (to the Raiders) to 28th (to the Chiefs).
In other inane news: How many players entering the draft can cook. We're conservatively guessing the number is somewhere around 10 percent. The next step, naturally, is to see if there's any correlation between playing football and scrambling some eggs. (There isn't.)