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Jeff Tuel makes himself eligible for NFL draft


By Brady Henderson

Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel has ended his quest for a fifth year eligibility and will make himself eligible for the 2013 NFL draft, the school announced Tuesday.

Jeff Tuel

Tuel leaves WSU as the program’s all-time leader in completion percentage (61.4). He’s fifth all-time in completions (531), sixth in attempts (865), and seventh in yards (5,936) and touchdowns (33).

“I have had a great four years at Washington State and will always be grateful to the university, my teammates, coaches and especially the fans,” Tuel said in a press release. “I feel it is time to pursue my life-long dream of playing in the NFL.”

Tuel was seeking from the NCAA a fifth year of eligibility after a collarbone injury limited him to three games in 2011.

“The petition process has been going for months and there have been a number of questions over the past few weeks, but no decision,” Tuel said. “Everyone involved has done their best to support me and I truly appreciate their efforts. However, given the uncertainty in the outcome and timing, I feel it is in my best interest to move on in hopes of getting an opportunity to prove my skills at the next level.”

Tuel started seven games this season as the Cougars went back and forth between him and sophomore Connor Halliday. Tuel completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 2,087 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

On several occasions, coach Mike Leach praised for Tuel for his leadership and the team-first attitude he displayed while sharing playing time with Halliday.

“We appreciate Jeff’s contributions to Cougar football and wish him the very best in the future,” Leach said in the release.