Despite the fact that he was successful under two head coaches who have sent players to the NFL, impressed onlookers during two senior All-Star games, and ranks as one of the few quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class with dual-threat capabilities, Washington State's Jeff Tuel was not invited to the combine.
He's doing whatever he can to make sure scouts see him perform, however, electing to participate not only in his own Pro Day March 7 on the Pullman, Wash., campus but also passing a day earlier at Eastern Washington's campus.
“I'm going to throw at EWU because they have four receivers there including Marquess (Wilson),” Tuel told CougFan.com. “They have a lot of bodies to throw to.”
If the name Marquess Wilson sounds familiar, it should. He is a former WSU Cougar himself, who starred under former head coach Paul Wulff, leading all FBS freshmen receivers with 55 catches (for 1,006 yards) in 2010 and shattering team records with 82 receptions for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns in a breakout sophomore campaign. As such, he was widely expected to explode once Mike Leach brought his dynamic offense to the Cougars.
Instead, Wilson clashed with Leach and his staff almost immediately and ultimately quit the team. He claimed that the new coaches "preferred to belittle, intimidate and humiliate us."
Leach and his staff were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation by Washington State, the Pac-12 and the NCAA. While Wilson's quitting and publicly calling out his collegiate coaches will certainly give scouts reason to pause, the 6foot-3, 194-pound wideout is simply too athletic not to be given a chance.
He was clocked at an impressive 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine and finished second among all receivers tested this year with a time of 6.65 seconds in the short-shuttle, showing impressive change of direction and acceleration. Wilson also caught the ball well during positional drills.
Wilson isn't the only talented receiver that the 6-foot-3, 221-pound Tuel (pronounced "Tool") will be throwing to. The Eagles sent their own wideout to the combine in talented junior Brandon Kaufman and also boast the likes of playmakers Nicholas Edwards and Greg Hurd.
In 31 games, including 26 as a starter, Tuel threw for 5,932 yards and 33 touchdowns against 25 interceptions.
While not productive as a runner with the Cougars, Tuel is a surprisingly nimble athlete who fared well at the Casino del Sol All-Star Game and currently ranks as a potential Day 3 pick on NFLDraftScout.com's board. Wilson and Kaufman also are currently viewed as potentially draftable commodities with Edwards and Hurd possessing enough athleticism to jump into the mix should they fare well at the workout.