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Monday, August 17, 2009

Paulus to start for Syracuse

Posted by on Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 10:51 PM

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After only a summer of getting back into the groove of football, former Duke point guard Greg Paulus will start for the Orange, head coach Doug Marrone announced Monday.

Paulus (pictured) played four years under Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski before announcing in May that he would enroll in a graduate program at Syracuse.

Paulus, a former high school quarterback standout who led his team to a 42-3 record while setting several state passing records, won the position over sophomore Ryan Nassib and senior Cam Dantley.

It was not a foregone conclusion that Paulus would earn the starting job if he enrolled at Syracuse.  Nassib was impressive in spring practice, beating out the established starter Dantley, who struggled in the passing game and contributed to the Orange placing 113th out of  119 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in passing yards.

“I do not have any guarantees,” Paulus said in May about earning the starting job for the Orange. “I’m going to have to learn along the way.”

After starting for three seasons as Duke’s point guard, Paulus was benched in favor of Jon Scheyer and freshman Elliot Williams more than halfway through last season.

Once the season was over, Paulus then explored the option of playing football professionally for the Green Bay Packers before officially visiting Michigan, Syracuse and Nebraska.  He selected Syracuse partly because the university offered an advanced degree in communications.

In order for the NCAA to clear his transfer to Syracuse, Paulus had to plan to enroll in a course of study not offered by Duke.

“Syracuse has a lot of great things about it,” Paulus said. “My gut and my heart told me Syracuse was the best place for me.”

The Orange start the season Sept. 5 against Minnesota in the Carrier Dome.

Paulus can only hope his bio on Syracuse's website will be a bit more concrete than this tidbit found on GoDuke.com: "A gritty competitor who serves as the team’s floor leader."

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