Matt's Memo: Paulus to the NFL

Thursday evening in New York City NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will begin announcing the first picks in the 2010 NFL draft. He will mention hulking lineman, speedy wide outs and strong armed quarterbacks. Those quarterbacks will have names like Bradford, McCoy and Tebow. He will not say something like, "with the 15th pick, from Syracuse, Greg Paulus." But, don't be surprised if by the end of the entire draft this weekend one team does conclude that a Paulus gamble may have a big pay off. If he doesn't get drafted he surely will find a camp as a free agent from which to audition for a roster slot in the greatest football league in the world.

It is a remarkable achievement for Greg Paulus considering the choice he made as the best high school football player in the nation while at Christian Brothers Academy to play basketball for Duke. Just one year ago he suddenly popped on the Syracuse radar when he revealed his desire to return to football.

Here's what I blogged on April 22, 2009 about the opportunities that could arise from Greg Paulus suiting up for the Orange football squad:

If he does that the Orange would enjoy the benefit of a mature athlete with innate leadership qualities and a strong arm. Paulus would have a chance to live two dreams by playing college basketball at Duke and college football at Syracuse. Of course, based on the interest of the Green Bay Packers Paulus will work to soak up as much football experience, weight training and skill rekindling so he might have a chance at the NFL one year from now.

Now on April 20, 2010 some experts are dipping their foot into the Paulus water wanting to make sure they're on record saying he just might be a guy who can make a go of it in the NFL. He brings a lot to the table. He's cheap, ambitious and intelligent. He's dedicated, hard working and highly skilled. And one more thing - the 2005 Army High School All-Star game had two starting quarterbacks. On one side of the field was Mark Sanchez. He played for USC and nearly led the New York Jets to the Super Bowl last season. On the other side of the field was Greg Paulus.

What we need to remember here is Commissioner Goodell would have been calling the Paulus name in the first round of the draft on year ago if Greg had decided to attend Notre Dame for football instead of heading down Tobacco Road.

I ran into Paulus at the Dome a couple of weeks ago during the NCAA basketball tournament. I told him I liked some of his radio work this year on post-game broadcasts of Syracuse games. He appreciated that. I also told him not to rush into broadcasting. Not when you have a chance to utilize your talents on the field. He smiled and admitted he was not planning on anything but playing some football before one day stepping behind a microphone.

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