Greg Paulus set to lead Orange

Ex-Duke guard will start at QB

Staff WriterAugust 19, 2009 

Former Duke point guard Greg Paulus, who left the university after last season to play college football, was named starting quarterback at Syracuse on Monday night. He spoke by telephone recently to Stephen Allan.

What did you do in the month and a half before you got to Syracuse?

I was trying to learn the playbook, I was trying to get my body in the type of shape it needs to get into as far as lifting and running, and I've been trying to transition from basketball to football.

What are your thoughts on your four years at Duke?

It was an experience that I truly enjoyed, and I learned a great deal from playing for Coach K and Duke and going to the university. I am extremely happy with everything that I learned there, but I have not played basketball since the season ended. I have put all my focus in my football team.

How has the transition been?

It's not as much time as I'd like. I need to maximize the time I have. But I love football... and I can continue to play another sport that I love at the highest level and get a chance to compete and be a part of camaraderie and win some games.

Are you ready for the first time you get blindsided by a linebacker?

That's stuff that will happen. I understand what could happen as far as scrambling around and getting hit. I understand I need to get rid of the ball quickly in order to make this throw. If I get hit, well, that's what I'm preparing for.

Has there been much of a learning curve?

I've been doing a lot of seven-on-seven drills to help. It's taking a little bit of time to get the habits back since I haven't been playing football for a long time.

Have you gotten bigger in preparation for the season?

I've put on some weight and have tried to put on muscle in order to take the shots. I'm in the 190s right now [up from about 185 pounds].

How well do you know the playbook?

(Laughing) I'm comfortable where I am right now in learning the playbook. I feel good about where I'm at. Getting the reps on the field will allow me to have a better perspective. I could tell you I'm very excited and very anxious.

sallan@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4558

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