Resilient Paulin overcoming Katrina

THE PLAN WAS for offensive lineman Dwayne Paulin to head home for Thanksgiving, enjoy a few days with family and friends and then return to Pasadena CC and finish up his AA degree. And around this time in January, the massive offensive lineman figured he'd be enrolled in classes and getting ready for spring ball. But disaster struck, and Hurricane Katrina changed everything.

Paulin (6-6, 310) headed home for Thanksgiving Break thinking he'd be back at school in a week, wrap up his AA degree and get ready for college. He ended up staying over a month in the wake of Katrina.

"If it wasn't for Hurricane Katrina, I would have been at Oregon State," said Paulin, a two year starter at PCC. "It just so happened that I went home to visit my family the Wednesday before Hurricane Katrina, and then I thought I was going to go to Oregon State. "We became just like everybody else. I was stuck down there for over a month."

Paulin and his family are okay but many of them were evacuated and obviously had their worlds turned upside down by the disaster.

WHEN HE WAS finally able to return to Pasadena, Paulin didn't score high enough on a final test and is now one class short of realizing his dream of playing college football.

"I do have my degree but there was a problem with one class," said Paulin. "I was under a lot of stress."

PAULIN IS NOW back taking classes at Pasadena in an accelerated program that will allow him to finish things up by Feb. 16. With two to play two, Paulin would be available for a school's spring session.

"I have plans on playing Division I," said Paulin. "I have my degree, just have to get that GPA up. I'm still looking for a home to go to.

"I can't keep my head down, though. I'm going to keep pushing. I've come too far to give up."

Paulin said hasn't heard from Oregon State of late, with recruiting coach Robin Ross having recently moved on to the Western Washington head coaching job but said he still hoped to don the black and orange. Also exacerbating his situation; a coaching change at Pasadena.

"There are some coaching changes at Pasadena so it's hard for me to get film to send out," said Paulin. "And I just don't want what I did at the junior college combine to be for nothing. I believe I am a great player but I can't get to any of my film."

Paulin excelled throughout the combine last year, particularly in the 1-on-1 drills, with college coaches later telling him he was one of the top offensive linemen in attendance.

The book on Paulin is that he has a great pair of feet and schools naturally like his prototypical size. Paulin's athleticism and agility is also uncommon for a big man; he played tight end at John F Kennedy High in New Orleans before being switched to offensive tackle.

Paulin says whatever school he ends up at, they'll be getting a player. He said he's been through a hurricane and endured other setbacks along the way, but that's only fueled his desire.

"I'm just looking for a chance right now," said Paulin. "I'm 6-6 and 310 pounds and I can move. I know some schools out there are looking for that. I just need the opportunity."

Dwayne Paulin profile

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