A Parent's Perspective - Jeff Tuel
A Parent’s Perspective:
By, Jeff Tuel, Sr.
My son was the quarterback at Washington State University. He had a great freshman and sophomore season, but injuries kept him out of all but three games his junior year. A successful senior year was critical to his future hope of playing in the NFL. Just before his senior year, the entire coaching staff changed. A new offense and minor injury that sidelined Jeff for 3 games during his senior season made it very tumultuous to say the least. Nonetheless, Jeff's potential was evident and we had many agents calling, and calling, and calling.
Before Jeff’s final football season at WSU, Jeff, his mother and I decided it was in his best interest for him to focus on his season while his mother and I would deal with the agents. The phone calls seamed to never end and we had met with several sports agents. We did research online, talked to other parents, talked to coaches and anyone else we could find to consult. Toward the end of Jeff’s season, we had narrowed it down to three different agents, one being Cameron.
Cameron may not even know this, but I had sideline passes for the Washington State v. Stanford game at Stanford. During the pregame, what I thought to be an NFL scout for the San Francisco 49'ers came over to me and asked who my son was. I told him and was pleased to hear Jeff was one of the guys he was there to watch. He asked how the process was going, gave me his card and told me to call anytime if I ever had any questions, that he would be glad to help. Turns out it was Tom Gamble, the Director of Player Personnel for the San Francisco 49ers.
A few weeks later, I had a couple questions for Mr. Gamble so I pulled out his business card and gave him a call. One of the questions I had for him was if he knew any of the three agents we had narrowed our search down to, or if he could recommend anyone to us. Before I could get the three names out, Tom asked if I had talked to Cameron Foster, an agent out of Seattle. He said Cameron focuses on players in the Pacific Northwest and is a great guy if I haven't talked to him yet. Tom's kind words were the icing on the cake.
Now all we had to do was get our son to meet Cameron and agree. We arranged for two of the final three agents to come to our house in Fresno within a few days of each other. Cameron showed up first. The meeting was relaxed and informative for our son. They had instant chemistry. As Jeff said, “Cameron is chill and easy to talk to, he breaks things down and tells you the positives and the negatives straight up”. It was embarrassing, but Jeff asked me to cancel the next agent meeting as it would be a waste of time since he had decided on Cameron.
Cameron lived up to every promise he made concerning Jeff's pre-draft training with Tom Shaw in Orlando and QB coach Bob Johnson in Mission Viejo. The preparation was awesome. Cameron made it clear that he would do his part as long as Jeff did his part in taking the training, diet and mental preparation seriously. Cameron even showed up to both of Jeff’s two senior bowl type games, which was further affirmation of his commitment to Jeff's success. Cameron was at Jeff's pro day for support and to visit with scouts. The marketing of Jeff that Cameron did was also very impressive. He put up videos of his highlights and pro-day on his website and the internet, as well as sent them directly to NFL personnel. Jeff was not invited to the NFL combine, yet Cameron was still able to get him two different trading card signature deals to help put some money in Jeff’s pockets, not to mention is pretty cool having an NFL trading card of my son! During Jeff’s pre-draft training stage, it was clear to me we had made the right choice and how important it is for a college football player to be with an agent that truly cared for his players, and wasn’t too big to loose track of my son.
The 2012 draft for QBs was the lowest number of QBs taken in the modern draft and although Jeff was hoping he would be drafted, he wasn’t. However, Cameron was on the phone constantly towards the end of the draft talking to teams, and ultimately, he and Jeff decided the Buffalo Bills would be the best fit for him signing immediately after the draft.
Cameron was able to get Jeff a Nike shoe contract and worked with Jeff on pre-camp preparation in terms of what to expect during the pre-season. Twice, Cameron went to Buffalo last year during the season to spend time with Jeff, including making it to his first NFL start against Kansas City. As funny as it may sound, Cameron even took Jeff clothes shopping to help spruce up his travel wardrobe.
All-in-all, Cameron has become a part of our family. He and Jeff have a great relationship, not just as agent and player, but as friends. I can’t thank him enough for what he has done for my son.
Jeff Tuel, Sr.