Frosh Fills in Where Needed

Oct. 30, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The day University of Wyoming coach Vic Koenning received GuyTuell's letter of intent, he knew he had a special player.Koenning also knew Tuell would find his way into UW's lineup as a truefreshman.

Of the eight true freshmen who have played for the Cowboys this season,Tuell has played the most. He's played in seven of eight games in UW'sdefensive secondary (the one he missed was because of a violation of teamrules) and started the last four.

Tuell plays a rover in UW's secondary. Through seven games, Tuell is eighthon the team in tackles with 32.

"At times I line up as a safety, other times I line up as a linebacker,"Tuell said. "I fill in wherever I can."

He's also intercepted one pass, forced one fumble and recovered one fumble.

Tuell had one of his better games of the season in last Saturday's 47-26loss to Nevada-Las Vegas with seven tackles, one interception and one passdefensed.

As a prep star in Yuma, Colo., Tuell was recruited to play football by UW,Colorado and Colorado State. Colorado offered Tuell a scholarship, butwanted him to play outside linebacker.

Tuell wanted to play in the secondary for UW.

"The opportunity to play early was the main thing," said Tuell on hisreasons for choosing UW. "I also saw where the program was going, and Iwanted to be a part of it.

"I wanted to play this early, and I expected it. But to start this early wasanother thing."

Tuell also had an older sister, Kevan, who went to UW.

The transition from high school football to Division I college football isoften a tough transition for freshmen. It wasn't for Tuell.

"I knew during two-a-days that I could play at this level," Tuell said. "Thefirst day of practice the coaches pulled all of us at my position aside andsaid this is the only position that's free and that you have to go out andget it.

"Right then I knew I had to do my thing to get what I wanted."

Tuell's first career start was against New Mexico, and in that game heforced a fumble. From there, Koenning had to keep Tuell in the lineup.

"He's played beyond his years," Koenning said. "Guy's a young man we werefortunate to get here. He's lived up to our expectations and done a reallygood job. He's going to be a great player for the Cowboys.

"He's very physical, and you can see why he was recruited as an outsidelinebacker. I think he's done a good job of staying positive, and he's avery intense young man. He plays like a tough guy."