Tuel (pronounced "Tool") looked like he was on the fast-track to joining them when he earned five starts as a true freshman (Bledsoe the only other Cougar quarterback to ever start as a true freshman), completing 59 percent of his passes and throwing six touchdowns against five interceptions before going down with a dislocated knee cap.
Unfortunately, the injury was just a preview of what was to come. Tuel enjoyed his best season in 2010, completing 60 percent of his passes for 2,780 yards, an 18-12 touchdown to interception ratio and earning honorable mention Pac-10 honors.
Tuel's 2011 season was a disaster and perhaps sealed coach Paul Wulff's fate. He was unable to start the season opener due to a bout with the flu but as the game went on he convinced the coaching staff he could play. He did, but suffered a broken clavicle in doing so. He returned four games later (Stanford) but re-aggravated the collarbone and also suffered a leg injury, ending his season with just 276 passing yards (64 percent) and one touchdown (no interceptions).
Tuel dropped his appeal for a fifth year of eligibility when the steps required for approval appeared to include the NCAA wanting him to testify that he was "mistreated" by Wulff's staff.
"That's basically what they were wanting," Tuel told the Seattle Times. "I don't feel comfortable saying I was mistreated. I was never mistreated by them."
He still feels confident he can make it in the NFL. The 6-3, 221-pounder has the accuracy and mobility to earn interest from scouts. He leaves WSU as the most accurate quarterback in school history, completing 61.4 percent of his passes
"I feel good about my chances," Tuel said. "I'm a confident individual. Whether I'm drafted or a free agent, I'll train hard and play hard."
WEAKNESSES: Tuel appears to have just average arm strength, overall. He wasn't often asked to make "stick" throws in Paul Wulff's spread scheme and likewise didn't do much of it in Mike Leach's offense. Perhaps the biggest concern scouts will have with Tuel, frankly, is his struggles with durability. He missed time with injury in three of his four seasons at WSU, though it's remarkable that he didn't miss more time than he did considering the lack of support he had in Pullman.
2013 NFL Division Champs
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