Thursday, May 14, 2009

COLOR GREG PAULUS’ FOOTBALL CAREER TURNS ORANGE

Greg Paulus will attempt to play quarterback for Syracuse University this fall, he announced on Thursday.

But the Orange, which hasn't had a winning season since 2001, has a designated starting quarterback and a senior backup who started 11 games in 2008.

"I understand going into it, there are no promises and no guarantees," Paulus said. "I understand what I need to earn."

Paulus' announcement capped off a unique seven-week process before deciding to go back to upstate New York, where he starred in high school for Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse before choosing basketball at Duke over college football.

Paulus finished his prep football career with 152 touchdown passes and a 42-3 record. He was considered one of the best quarterback prospects in his class but he hasn't taken a snap since the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in Jan. 2005.

The NCAA still needs to grant Paulus an academic waiver to be eligible for the 2009 season. Paulus, who graduated from Duke with a political science degree, said he would pursue a post-graduate degree from Syracuse's Newhouse School of public communications.

The quarterback situation at Syracuse is complicated. Senior Cameron Dantley, a former walk-on, started 11 games for the Orange, who went 3-9 in 2008.

But Dantley lost the job in the spring to redshirt freshman Ryan Nassib. First-year Orange coach Doug Marrone tabbed Nassib the starter in March.

How Paulus' arrival will change that equation is unclear. Under NCAA rules, Marrone can't comment on Paulus because he's an unsigned recruit, a school spokeswoman said Thursday.

Paulus started 139 games in four seasons for the Blue Devils' basketball team, helping them to the ACC title in his freshman and senior seasons. He finished his basketball career ranked among Duke's career leaders in 3-pointers (eighth with 210) and assists (ninth with 468).

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