Tuel: It's killing me

PULLMAN-- Marshall Lobbestael has a lot of fans behind him, and through three weeks Lobbestael has thrown for 959 yards, 10 touchdowns, and two interceptions. But perhaps his biggest fan is Jeff Tuel, who told CF.C that their relationship is as strong as it's ever been. Waiting to return to the gridiron, well, that's another matter altogether.

The return timetable for Jeff Tuel remains in flux. The best possible case scenario according to Paul Wulff is UCLA on Oct. 8, but perhaps more likely would be the homecoming game against Stanford on Oct.15.

For Tuel, it can't come soon enough.

"It's killing me," Tuel said. "I'm just chomping at the bit. When you're away from the game like this it really makes you realize how much you love it and miss it. I can't wait to get back onto the field."

"It's been great and it's only gotten better," Tuel said of his relationship with the player who replaced him, Marshall Lobbestael. "He's one of my best friends and he's just an unbelievable person and player. I only wish the best for him and something coach (Todd) Sturdy says is all for one and one for all -- so that's just how we do things and that's how it's going to be. I just love being around it."

Tuel returned to practice last week in a limited role -- he was in a helmet, jersey, and shorts while the rest of the team was fully suited up. Tuel's participation in his first week back was strictly limited to quarterback drills and he saw no live action. Still, the way Tuel was firing the ball around, you would have never guessed he broke his collar bone less than a month ago.

The zip was there, the accuracy was there, but you could also tell Tuel isn't quite as comfortable in his throwing motion and that he's still a few weeks out from returning to his top form.

"My arm feels great," Tuel said. "My throwing arm feels fresh, kind of revived a little bit. It's just my left shoulder that's a little tender. I feel like I was throwing with my left arm and not my right because it's not used to all the motions."

"It gets a little tight and a little tender but I really only feel it when I really let one fly," Tuel said. "For the most part it's feeling really good right now."

Although limited during practice at this stage of his rehab, Tuel continues to make a major contribution.

CF.C has been at virtually every practice since the beginning of fall camp and Tuel has consistently been pulling young players aside to give them advice on plays and formations. That hasn't changed since he's been injured. His mentorship is also not limited to just the other WSU quarterbacks.

Tuel is just as apt to be side-by-side with players like freshman RB Marcus Mason, as he was recently, giving the youngster tips and pointers during a series in an 11-on-11 drill.

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