10 minutes with Jeff Tuel: Part I

THERE'S MORE TO summer for Cougar QB Jeff Tuel than just the physical trials. As extensive as the voluntary weightlifting, running and extra drills are, Tuel and a few of his teammates stop what they're doing nearly every day to ... exercise their minds. He talks about that, and gives a player-by-player run down of the Cougs' rookie receivers, in a wide-ranging discussion with CF.C.

A 4 p.m. most days, Tuel heads indoors, turns the lights off and cranks up the video with a few of his teammates.

Film study is an integral part to his summer routine.

One day, it might be about getting together with the running backs to make sure everyone, down to the smallest detail, is on the same page.

Other days, it might be about getting in some early analysis of BYU's defense, WSU's opponent in the season opener on Aug. 30.

Has Tuel, 10 days before fall camp opens, seen a lot of BYU already? "I've seen them a little bit," Tuel said with a laugh. "They're pretty athletic, they have a lot of energy, they're pretty mature obviously."

Tuel, who leaves today for a trip to Los Angeles with Mike Leach and Travis Long for Pac-12 Media Day on Tuesday, was very complimentary about the BYU defense, but also said through film study, "we feel pretty good" about how the Air Raid can match up against it in certain situations.

Gino Simone, Andrei Lintz, Teondray Caldwell as well as others are regular attendees to the film sessions, said Tuel.

ASKED FOR A SNAPSHOT observation of each of the new Cougar wideouts who arrived on campus in June (plus one more who arrived in January), Tuel put on his analyst's hat.

Gabriel Marks:
"He probably runs the best routes out of high school I've seen. He catches the ball well, runs great routes, he's explosive and quick."

Brett Bartolone:
"He's a really explosive kid, real fast. He catches the ball well ... he looks like he's a hard worker and a good addition to the team."

Alex Jackson:
"He looks like a really fast kid, good hands. And he's got a lot of reps in skelly. He looks like he's going to be a really good player."

Rahmel Dockery:
"He's kind of lanky kid even though he's not very tall. He can go up and get the ball, there's been a lot of improvement with him over spring."

WITH THE WIDE O-LINE SPLITS an integral feature of Leach's Air Raid offense, things must look a heck of a lot different to a QB back there, right? That had to require a period of adjustment for a quarterback, didn't it?

Nope, says Tuel.

"Honestly, not too tough. Really, it was just the first day (this spring) it was weird to see how wide they were. But it opens up passing lanes. And it didn't take long at all to get used to," said Tuel.

IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG to get used to Wade Jacobson when the o-lineman arrived on campus a couple years ago. Tuel tabbed Jacobsen as the biggest character on the Cougs' 2012 o-line.

"He's basically a little kid in a big man's body," laughed Tuel. "He jokes around, messes with you and giggles a lot. At certain times he can get on some guys' nerves but never with me. I love it."


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