After flirtations with the Green Bay Packers and the University of Michigan, former Duke point guard Greg Paulus has settled on Syracuse University as the best place to pursue his gridiron dreams. Paulus, who is from Syracuse, told Jeff Goodman of Foxsports.com that returning home played a role in his decision.
"Each place was unique, but in my heart, I just felt that Syracuse was the place for me," Paulus said. "It's a chance to go home and make a difference. I'm excited about trying to re-energize the Syracuse program," he added. "It's a pretty neat thing."
Presumably the fact that redshirt freshman Ryan Nassib is currently atop the Orange's depth chart played a role in his decision as well. Assuming the NCAA grants his waiver to transfer and play football (and what a splash of cold water it would be if they rule against Paulus), he'll only have one year of eligibility to use as a springboard toward a football career. Teams with only unheralded redshirt freshmen quarterbacks are going to be the most willing to let you make the most of that year.
Unfortunately, such teams tend to not be very good. That's certainly the case with Syracuse, and having poor talent around him will limit Paulus' chances of making major waves on the football field. Bad offensive linemen get beaten by defensive linemen, bad receivers drop good passes and bad defenses make it hard to be on the field in meaningful moments of games.
That's a risk worth taking, though, because with a better team Paulus might not even get that much of a chance. And playing for a bad team is better than playing for no team at all if you want to make a play for a future on the football field.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.