Greg Paulus wants the opportunity to contend for a starting quarterback position, but he is still weighing his options of playing NCAA football, trying out for the NFL and testing the basketball waters overseas, he said Thursday at a press conference at Duke.
Paulus added that Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez has offered him a chance to suit up for the Wolverines next year. If the 2005 Gatorade National Player of the Year in football uses a fifth year of NCAA eligibility on the gridiron, the opportunity to play immediately is attractive, said Paulus, who is only interested in playing quarterback.
“The chance to compete for a starting job is important,” said Paulus, who added that there is no formal timeline for his decision. “With me only having an opportunity to play for one year, the chance and the opportunity to compete at a high level is important. There is an opportunity to do that at Michigan.”
Michigan’s quarterback situation might be particularly appealing to Paulus. Two incoming freshmen and an injured junior with little experience are currently fighting for the top spot on the depth chart.
Paulus also hinted that transferring to Syracuse, his hometown school, was a possibility. Several other Division I-A schools have shown interest in the point guard, but Paulus declined to say which, although he told Dan Patrick that no ACC teams had contacted him.
But college football teams aren’t the only ones interested in Paulus, who targeted specific programs and has been marketing himself with a DVD of his high school highlight clips. He said that he was in the process of gathering information about setting up more workouts for NFL teams after he worked out for the Green Bay Packers in Durham last Thursday.
“You look into if you have a chance to compete and play, then what is the situation there?” Paulus said. “The opportunity to do that and to have that chance is exciting, and something that I’ll analyze and dissect over time and try to figure out what is best for me.”
Then there’s always basketball, Paulus’ sport for the last four years. Despite the media blitz over Paulus’ football potential, the 6-foot-1 point guard said he wouldn’t change his high school decision to play basketball for Duke if he could do it over again and that continuing his hardwood career as a professional player is also an option he’s considering.
But Paulus said he would enjoy the opportunity to work toward an advanced degree in graduate school. Playing football for another school would give him that chance.
In a 20-minute teleconference and 20-minute press conference, Paulus made his first public comments since news broke Monday that he had worked out for the Packers. The senior, who is on track to graduate in May, said multiple times that he was “surprised” by but “appreciative” of the attention.
When he walked into Cameron Indoor Stadium’s media room to find a group of reporters after he had just taken a round of questions over the phone, he simply smiled and muttered, “Oh, jeez.”
“I guess everyone’s trying to figure it out,” Paulus said.
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