Greg Paulus, Four Years Too Late

Submitted by Brian on April 15th, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Judging by the relative volume of email I've gotten on this, the entire universe read this FoxSports story and went "wha?"

The Green Bay Packers aren't the only ones who are interested in Greg Paulus.

According to sources close to the situation, the former Duke point guard was in Ann Arbor on Tuesday meeting with Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez about the possibility of playing this season for the Wolverines.

How can Paulus have eligibility at all, let alone this year? Apparently NCAA transfer rules don't apply if you switch sports and neither do eligibility limits. There's just the five year "clock" that starts when you enroll in college.

Though bizarre, this isn't totally insane. Paulus was actually a big time football recruit with offers from a number of major powers, including Michigan, before he chose the dark side. (And poorly: how many 6'2" white point guards are in the NBA?) Since he's got only one year left Michigan could put him on the team without adversely affecting next year's recruiting class. It's basically a free quarterback.

The only downside is being associated with this:

The great worry is that four years at Duke have burned this sort of behavior in Paulus' head and he'll fall over when pass rushers come upfield or, you know, the running back brushes him when he's trying to get the handoff.

Paulus hasn't played a down of football in four years, so the article's suggestion that he could "come in and play immediately" is more foreboding than a hopeful. Forcier isn't losing his job to this stopgap unless he's miraculously good. If Paulus comes and if he sees the field he's probably going to be really bad, but since there's a chance his really bad is less really bad than some walk-on's really bad there doesn't appear to be a reason to say no*.

If he does come don't revise your season projections either way.

*(Except for aesthetic ones embedded above.)



April 15th, 2009 at 11:58 AM ^

Apparently this was an April Fools joke, but as the resident Duke fan (Maizenbluedevil too) I think I speak for everyone when I say Hell Yeah that would have been awesome.


April 15th, 2009 at 12:32 PM ^

I agree w/ Brian on most things but I respectfully disagree with his assessment of Greg Paulus' potential impact. Yeah, he may be really bad. But he may also be really good. I doubt the Packers would waste time talking to him if they didn't see something special.

Isn't it possible, in the unfortunate event of a Forcier injury, that Paulus could provide a competent and confident backup? Wasn't this guy the most coveted QB prospect in his class?

I think this could be a huge pickup for UM. And if Forcier gets hurt, I think Paulus could be the difference between another 3 win season and a bowl game.


April 15th, 2009 at 12:38 PM ^

I'm perfectly fine with taking the guy for this season. I highly doubt that he can shake off the rust, learn the offense and beat Forcier, but extra depth/competition is always a good thing.

Why doesn't he just stay at Duke, though? Is the QB depth chart too stacked?


April 15th, 2009 at 12:43 PM ^

I think this can only help us and say bring him on. We are thin at QB. Heaven forbid any injuries at the position he offers depth. Does not affect next years recruiting class. Hopefully adds competition to the QB race. I still hope Forcier is the starter but we have him solidly backed up by Robinson, then Paulus, Sheridan, Kennedy, Cone, etc.

I would think this is good exposure? Being talked about on major sports media outlets.

Also, how strange would it be if Jason Forcier was able to join the team as well as Paulus with a strange 5th year transfer rule? These two would offer immediate depth.


April 15th, 2009 at 12:51 PM ^

I agree with those who feel he will provide depth. At least he will lessen the effects of Threet's transfer. And, really, you just never know: he could be Chris Weinke or he could be Michael Jordan trying to hit a curveball. I think he is worth spending a scholly for one year.


April 15th, 2009 at 1:23 PM ^

The real question is this:

What would Jay Bilas say when a Duke PG plays football for the school that fired Tommy Amaker???

My opinion? Any competent QB who is better than Nick Sheridan is welcome to join the team in the next two years to make sure we have as much depth as possible. I'd prefer Jason Forcier over Paulus, but none of us can be picky when the depth chart looks like it does right now.

Hell, maybe they should scour the UM baseball team for former high school QB's that would want to suit up!

MC Hammer

April 15th, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

I don't understand why people wouldn't want to see this. Is it because he flopped a lot on the basketball court? By all accounts he's a good kid and I don't think he ever got in trouble at Duke.

If he comes in and contributes, great.
If he comes in and can't hack it, what's the loss?


April 15th, 2009 at 4:52 PM ^

He's only going to be here for one year. He would create much needed competition and depth at the QB position. Look, there's no way Tate is playing as a true frosh once RR establishes his system. He's just not ready. Neither is DRob. I'm not saying Paulus is ready, but at least he knows competition. I don't think you can underestimate that. I'm still young but I already know that the most important quality in life is PERSISTENCE. How is Tate going to react when he throws his first INT, or gets sacked, or makes bad reads, because all that is going to happen next year if he plays. He's just not ready from a playbook standpoint but also mentally as well. No true frosh is ready mentally. And it's not like Tate is protected by a strong surrounding cast, like Henne's frosh year where he had Braylon. So I'd rather have a guy who just controls the offense and doesn't make mistakes, because it's not like our defense is without weaknesses. There were many times last year where RR simply lost control of the game because he didn't have anyone reliable on the team. That has changed a little with the departure of the cancerous seniors and young guys getting playing experience, but the situation is still far from ideal. If Paulus still has his football skills and learns quickly, I don't see why he can't at least be considered for the starting job.


April 15th, 2009 at 6:56 PM ^

You would rather see a guy who was a top prospect four years ago (and hasn't played a snap since), who does not know the offense, come in and start at QB? At Michigan? In Ann Arbor?
I guess it's nice to dream, but Tate will play. And I'm not sure what you mean by "no way Tate is playing as a true frosh once RR establishes his system". It is pretty clear at this point that Tate is our guy unless Denard proves otherwise. Ugh.


April 15th, 2009 at 7:39 PM ^

But generally, at elite programs, true frosh QBs don't play unless they're a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Tate and DRob are both good players, but they most certainly are not exceptional prospects. At the elite level, you would have to be a high 5 star and both Tate and DRob are only 4 stars.

My point is, even if there is only like a 25% chance that Paulus still remembers the game, it's a shot worth taking. True frosh unprotected by a strong supporting case (as is the case here), are going to make mistakes, oftentimes fatal mistakes. With Tate or DRob (or both, as I see it), this team wins at most 8 games. If Paulus ends up being Chris Weinke, you can expect 9. Why shouldn't Michigan even take that shot. It's worth a gamble. There's nothing to lose.

April 16th, 2009 at 11:25 AM ^

Sounds to me like he would come in if he was the starter....not the backup.

I mean, he's only got 1 year so I'm sure his intent is to impress an NFL team and hope to make it as a pro since there's no way the NBA is going to come calling!

Why would he agree to sign with UM for 1 year as a backup? He's not going to make it to the NFL doing that....

If he comes there, it will be to start in 2009, not to stand there with a clipboard and headset!


April 15th, 2009 at 7:09 PM ^


This would be awesome. Period. Plain and simple.

It'd be a one year thing - so wouldn't affect this year's recruiting. And we have a schollie to burn anyways.

He's not gonna be the starter. But he adds depth.

Unless you harbor an irrational hatred of anything associated with Duke, it's impossible to see nothing but upside here.

Worst case scenario is he rides the bench and provides depth/an insurance policy in case anything happens to Forcier.

Paulus is definitely a good kid. Not the most talented PG ever, but *tons* of heart and hustle. I'm telling you that if nothing else, he would add a lot to Michigan's practices, with his hustle, heart, and leadership as an experienced college athlete in a top-tier program. Having him around, even that's all he brings, is well worth it.


April 16th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

1) Paulus was a highly recruited spread QB out of high school.
2) Tate was a highly recruited spread QB out of high school.
3) Paulus graduated from high school in 2005.
4) Tate graduated from high school in 2009.
5) Paulus has never taken a collegiate snap.
6) Tate has never taken a collegiate snap.
7) Paulus is 23.
8) Tate is 18.
9) Paulus has not been involved any any spring practice at UM.
10) Tate has been in spring practice.

Q.E.D.: Tate > Paulus

Also, I agree, Paulus is not coming to hold a clipboard.