Paulus: Duke experience prepared me
Former Duke point guard Greg Paulus says he'll bring the work ethic and winning culture he learned from coach Mike Krzyzewski to the starting quarterback job at Syracuse.
Paulus, who graduated early from Duke and received an NCAA waiver to play football for the Orange as a graduate student, was named the starter by coach Doug Marrone this week after just one week of practice.
"Having the experience and the opportunity to play for Coach K and Duke, it prepared me for everything," Paulus said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
"Playing in a lot of big games and playing in that type of atmosphere has allowed me to learn from that culture, to build on some of the things I had in high school and I'm trying to bring some of that here to Syracuse," he said.
Paulus was a Parade All-American as a record-setting quarterback in high school in Syracuse, before deciding to pursue basketball at Duke.
After graduating, he worked out for the Green Bay Packers, acknowledged meeting with Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez about playing for the Wolverines, also visited Nebraska and said he was contacted by about two dozen programs.
He said transferring to Syracuse put him in the unique position of being able to get his masters degree at a top broadcasting school and return to football field in his hometown.
"I have two passions when it comes to playing sports and having the opportunity to do those at the highest level, at the ACC and the Big East is something that is very unique, I understand that," he said.
Paulus said he's received the support of his teammates, including sophomore Ryan Nassib, who had been No. 1 on the depth chart.
"Whenever I have a question or whenever I don't understand something, we're usually talking about it," he said. "He's been absolutely great to me, and I really appreciate that."
Paulus said that after this season, he plans to pursue some new dreams that involve the NFL, coaching and becoming a broadcaster. But first, there are some team goals to accomplish.
"We want to come out and we want to win some games and we want to turn this in the right direction," he said.
The Orange open the season Sept. 5 against Minnesota in the Carrier Dome, a place Paulus used to come and watch games as a child.
He's excited about that, but is focusing right now on learning the offense.
"Each day I feel and believe that I'm getting better, whether that's with footwork, ball handling, consistency with the throws and the reads," he said. "And that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to get better and this team is trying to get better."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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