Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Out of nowhere

It's been reported by multiple outlets in the past few days that Duke point guard Greg Paulus, who was a high school All-American and a highly touted recruit as a quarterback out of New York in 2004, visited Michigan and met with Rich Rodriguez this week regarding a possible transfer to resume his football career.

Let's go over some facts here:
  • Paulus had offers from a large majority of the top schools in the country coming out of high school.
  • While considered an excellent athlete (obviously, given his basketball abilities), Paulus played in a spread passing offense in high school and still holds the state record for passing yards.
  • He hasn't played football since arriving at Duke in 2005.
  • Due to the NCAA's five-year eligibility clock, Paulus has one year remaining (at any school) if he chooses to play football.
  • After expressing interest in playing under David Cutcliffe at Duke, Paulus was informed that he would not be considered as an option at QB but could try out for the team as a receiver.
Paulus obviously was considered an excellent prospect at one point, but with several years of rust and only one season remaining, his upside is pretty minimal. However, there are two reasons that I think it's wise for Michigan to consider bringing Paulus in:
  1. If his physical abilities are considered so impressive that he was brought in for a workout by the Green Bay Packers despite having never played a down of college football, that puts him ahead of every quarterback on Michigan's roster in terms of pure talent (with the possible exception of freshman Tate Forcier).
  2. After Forcier, who put up four touchdowns in the spring game and erased any doubts about his claim to the starting job, the depth chart is ugly. Walk-on Nick Sheridan -- whose performance last year was so horrific that he earned the nickname "Death" at Mgoblog -- is the presumptive backup, while freshman Denard Robinson, who won't arrive until fall, will likely be mixed in as part of some run packages.
Regardless of whether Paulus is the same player who was named Gatorade's national player of the year in 2004, his arrival would be welcome if for no other reason than depth. If Forcier falls far short of expectations or (knock on wood) is injured, it'd be nice to have a backup QB with reasonable athleticism AND the ability to complete a forward pass, and Paulus appears to fit that description.

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