Tuel calls an audible to maximize pro chances

JEFF TUEL

PULLMAN – Jeff Tuel is calling an audible and splitting the seam. After impressive performances at a pair of all-star games and stellar individual workouts that further raised his profile among NFL scouts, ol' No. 10 for the Cougs has decided to change up the standard campus Pro Day routine. To maintain his momentum, he's going to divide his work between two campuses over two days.

Tuel plans to work out for NFL teams at WSU's Pro Day on March 7, and at Eastern Washington University's the day before, on March 6.

"I'm going to throw at EWU because they have four receivers there including Marquess (Wilson)," Tuel told CF.C on Saturday. "They have a lot of bodies to throw to."

Tuel will then head down the road to do the running and jumping portion of his work out in Pullman.

Wilson, Tuel's good friend and favorite target at Washington State, is attending Pro Day in Cheney rather than Pullman, presumably because of the well-publicized and highly contentious way he departed WSU last fall.

Wilson appeared to stoke the cooling embers of the situation Saturday in a Seattle Times article in which he was quoted as saying he doesn't regret his actions of last fall and never recanted his comments, as WSU interpreted in an email he sent in the midst of the storm to WSU athletic director Bill Moos. The email, he told the Times, was more a clarification that no physical abuse took place.

Tuel has been working out this winter in Orlando, Fla., with Tom Shaw, who is widely regarded as one of the best in the pro preparation business.

Among those working out alongside Tuel there are Wilson and EWU receivers Brandon Kaufman and Greg Herd. With all three ticketed for Pro Day in Cheney, Tuel's decision to split his dance card is a logical one.

"We have been throwing the route tree and getting a lot of good work," Tuel said. (Wilson, Kaufman, Herd and I) have been living together and been on a strict diet."

Another guy with good hands also has been in Orlando working out with Tuel: star West Virginia wideout and top-flight draft prospect Tavon Austin.

Tuel said since his performances in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl and the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game, his stock has been rising in the eyes of NFL observers.

"I plan to keep that train rolling through Pro Day," Tuel said. "I've been hearing great things."

Tuel is heading to Los Angeles today to work with quarterback coach and longtime friend Bob Johnson. Tuel started training under Johnson in high school and has relied on him in off seasons for footwork and mechanics coaching.

Tuel will return to Pullman on March 1 to continue his Pro Day preparations.

And then it's all eyes on the draft, which takes places April 25-27.

"I will be watching the NFL draft at home in Fresno with my family," Tuel said.

As of now, most draft pundits see Tuel as a late-round pick or free agent signee.

TO WATCH A BRAND NEW HIGHLIGHT TAPE OF TUEL'S CAREER AT WSU: Click here. It definitely ranks as must-see viewing for any self-respecting Cougar fan.

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