A Quarterback in Two Sports

Syracuse (N.Y.) Christian Brothers Academy is home to one of the top two-sport high school stars in the country - quarterback and point guard <B>Greg Paulus</B>. Paulus has pledged his commitment to Coack K and Duke. Is this his last season of football?

For Greg Paulus life is grand. He is regarded as one of the top prospects among the Class of 2005 in two sports - football and basketball. That's a rare feat, even in today's sports society where two-sport stars are somewhat common, especially in the high school ranks. Paulus, 6-2 and 185 pounds, is a student-athlete that doesn't come along all that often. He is one of America's top quarterbacks on the gridiron and one of the nation's top point guards on the hardwood.

"In my opinion, he has greater upside in football," said his high school coach Joe Casamento.

"Greg will be amongst our Top 25 prospects in the Class of 2005 and is among the Top 5 point guards in his class, said Dave Telep, National Basketball Recruiting Analyst for TheInsiders.com.

What will it be… football or basketball for this star from Syracuse (N.Y.) Christian Brothers Academy?

Right now, Paulus won't say but one thing we do know is that is plans on attending Duke and has committed to play basketball for Coach K. He committed to the Blue Devils back in September.

"Duke has great academics and the campus is beautiful," said Paulus. "I love the coaching staff and the players. When I was down there I felt right at home. I have actually been there a few times. And I love Coach K. We talk a lot and already have such a great relationship. He is one of the greatest coaches ever and is truly a class act."

With his decision behind him all Paulus will have to do is figure out if football is in his future beyond his senior season this fall because basketball is a given. He will play hoops for Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils.

"I will play football my senior season, there is no question about that," proclaimed Paulus. I will decide when that time comes. My father has spoken with Coach (Ted) Roof (Duke football head coach). All I know is that I will play football this season.

"Basketball is my first love but I also love football. I just want to enjoy my last year and a half of high school."

So what makes Paulus so good in basketball? Last season he averaged 23.5 points per game and nine assists.

"Basically, Greg is a big time leader and competitor," said Telep. "On the court, he sees things that other guys miss and really does an excellent job of providing leadership and running a team. He's the consummate teammate and he's got a good sense of when to try and take over offensively and when to play the role of distributor. I think he'll be a better college than high school player because he'll be surrounded by guys who see the floor the way he does.

"Right now, I would have to say he's a four-year college player. I'm sure some of the same qualities he brings in football like leadership and a take-charge attitude have shaped him as a basketball player."

But in essence, it is the game of basketball that has shaped his football career. He has only played football since the 7th grade and the attributes that make him such a superior point guard have carried over to football.

"Basketball has really helped him in football," said Coach Casamento. "He sees the field so well. We play a spread offense and a lot of times it (our offense) becomes a fast break offense for him. He can create when things break down. Greg senses pressure so well. He has great instincts for the game and a great understanding of the game and our offense."

Last season Paulus threw for over 2,800 yards and 29 touchdown passes.

"I like leading the scene and I like being in control. I have to be the leader and run the show. Football has brought out the toughness in me and I think I have the intangibles to be a quarterback. I can make all the throws and run when necessary. I just need to keep learning the game"

Right now, Paulus is an outstanding QB prospect. There is no doubt about that. But because of his basketball commitment he only plays the game of football for three to four months a year. The rest of the time he plays basketball and big-time basketball at that. He is a member of the AAU team SRAP and he will travel throughout the country and in Europe this summer.

"Greg is now just becoming the football player we know he can be," said Casamento. "He has not played football as long as he has played basketball and he doesn't get to spend a lot of time in the weight room."

From a football perspective it's scary how good he could become if he concentrated full-time as a signal caller. But let's be honest, Greg Paulus has a potential big future in basketball, first at Duke and then perhaps the NBA.

"It's going to be hard (football or basketball) because growing up I always wanted to play professionally in both sports. I will just cross that bridge when I get there when I have to make that decision."

In the meantime, Paulus is enjoying every minute of playing both sports he loves to play.

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