Jeffrey Victor Tuel (born February 12, 1991) is a former American football quarterback. He played college football for Washington State. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and spent most of 2013 and 2014 as the Bills' third-string quarterback. He was also a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tuel in 2009 with Washington State
|No. 7, 8|
|Born:||February 12, 1991|
Boca Raton, Florida
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||221 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Fresno (CA) Clovis West|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics|
Tuel's family moved from Tucson, Arizona, to Fresno, California, after his freshman year of high school. Wanting to play quarterback, he chose to attend Clovis West High School in Fresno due to its reputation, even though Beau Sweeney was entrenched as Clovis West's starting quarterback. Tuel played for the junior varsity team in his sophomore year, then made the varsity team as a wide receiver in his junior year. He became the starting quarterback in his senior year.
Tuel enrolled at Washington State University, becoming only the second true freshman to start at quarterback for the Washington State Cougars football team, after Drew Bledsoe (who, coincidentally, also wound up playing for the Bills). In 26 games, Tuel had four wins. However, his 61.4 completion percentage is the highest in Cougars' history, and he finished his career in the top ten in school history for completions, pass attempts, touchdowns, and passing yards.
Tuel suffered a broken collarbone early in the 2011 season, and reinjured his collarbone when he returned. He considered petitioning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for a fifth year of collegiate eligibility due to injuries that limited his playing time, but decided against it. He believed that the NCAA wanted him to blame head coach Paul Wulff's handling of the injury.
- Statistics via ESPN
On August 26, 2013, Tuel was tentatively named the starting quarterback for Week 1 of the 2013 Buffalo Bills season. Whether Tuel would start depended on the status of current first-string quarterback EJ Manuel (drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft), who was recovering from an operation on his knee. On September 4, the Bills determined Manuel was healthy enough to return to play and named him starting quarterback, relegating Tuel to the second string position.
Had Tuel started that game, he would have been the first undrafted rookie quarterback to start a season opener without any prior professional football experience since at least the 1950s. He received some notoriety for being a relatively unknown player when he was named as the Bills' starting quarterback—in fact, this Wikipedia page did not exist when the announcement happened.
Tuel played his first NFL game on October 3, 2013 against the Cleveland Browns shortly after the starting quarterback, EJ Manuel, hurt his knee halfway into the 3rd quarter. His first pass was incomplete, due to a defensive interference. Late in the 4th quarter, Tuel threw an interception that was returned 44 yards for a touchdown, effectively ending any chance of a Bills comeback. Following Tuel's performance, the Bills called up Thad Lewis from the practice squad and named him starter, again demoting Tuel to second-string. Coincidentally, the Bills also brought back punter Brian Moorman, who wore Tuel's original number 8 in the twelve seasons before Tuel's arrival; Tuel gave Moorman his number 8 and changed to number 7.
Tuel and Lewis competed for the second string position during the 2014 preseason and training camp; Tuel won the competition, and Lewis was released on August 26. The move was short-lived; the team released all of its backup quarterbacks, including Tuel, in final preseason cuts on August 30, leaving only Manuel on the roster (the team then signed Kyle Orton, who came out of a brief retirement, to serve as Manuel's only backup). Tuel was signed to the Bills' practice squad shortly afterward. Tuel was waived by the Bills on May 29, 2015.
Tuel was claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars on June 1, 2015. He was waived on August 29, 2015. On October 13, Tuel was re-signed to Jacksonville's practice squad. On December 9, 2015, Tuel was released from the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad.
- Statistics via ESPN
- Grippi, Vince (November 4, 2010). "Quarterback Jeff Tuel's road to WSU owes a bit to a Cal player". Spokane Spokesman-Review. Archived from the original on August 28, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
- Edholm, Eric (April 20, 2011). "Who is Jeff Tuel? Nine facts about the Buffalo Bills' possible Week 1 starting quarterback". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- Withers, Bud (December 18, 2012). "Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel won't try for fifth season | Cougar Football". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- Huston, Chris. "Washington State QB Jeff Tuel going to NFL". CBS Sports. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- "Jeff Tuel statistics". ESPN. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
- "Bills sign undrafted QB Jeff Tuel and WR Brandon Kaufman". Blogs.buffalonews.com. April 27, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- Wawrow, John (August 26, 2013). Bills CB Gilmore out 6-8 weeks; QB Tuel gets call. Associated Press. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Bills name Manuel starting QB. WIVB-TV. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
- Farrar, Doug (August 26, 2013). Undrafted rookie QB Jeff Tuel could make history as Bills' Week 1 starter Archived August 26, 2013, at Archive.today. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Chase, Chris (August 26, 2013). "Buffalo Bills' potential Week 1 starter didn't have Wikipedia page". USA Today. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
Jeff Tuel isn't well known outside the Tuel family.
- Patra, Kevin (November 3, 2013). "Jeff Tuel starts for Buffalo Bills; QB Thad Lewis out". National Football League. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Patra, Kevin (August 31, 2014). "Jeff Tuel signed to Buffalo Bills practice squad". NFL.com. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Gantt, Darin. "Jaguars claim quarterback Jeff Tuel off waivers". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- O'Halloran, Ryan (August 29, 2015). "Jaguars reduce roster to 75 players with first wave of cuts".
- "Jaguars Release QB Jeff Tuel From Practice Squad, Sign RB Jahwan Edwards - NFL Trade Rumors -". NFL Trade Rumors -. Retrieved December 11, 2015.