The Syracuse Orange have a new starting Quarterback.
A little while ago head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Robert Spence had a conversation where they discussed what the football team needed. Without any knowledge of foreshadowing Spence suggested a point guard, Marrone nodded his head.
Enter Greg Paulus, the "Hometown Hero."
Paulus a native of Syracuse, NY, played high school football at Christian Brothers Academy where he excelled to become the Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year. Although he was offered scholarships from the University of Miami and Notre Dame, he ultimately chose not to play college football, but basketball at Duke.
Paulus went on to play for three years as starting point guard under coach Krzyzewski playing two subpar seasons, until being benched by sophomore Nolan Smith his senior year. A move which would turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Due to Paulus not starting his final year at Duke and an NCAA loop hole, he had another year of eligibility to play a collegiate sport. Paulus chose to return to his hometown to study as a grad student at Syracuse University, and to compete for the starting quarterback position for the Orange.
Last Tuesday new head coach Doug Marrone announced Greg Paulus as the Syracuse starting QB. Paulus beat out red-shirt freshman Ryan Nassib, who was assigned the position during spring training.
Marrone recently commented on the competition between the two quarterbacks as being "close" throughout the entire camp, but Paulus surprisingly ended up winning the position, or should I say imminently?
I have always been rooting for Greg Paulus to be the starter for this rebuilding season, but my question is, does this really come as a surprise to anyone?
Now this may come as a surprise to some as Doug Marrone said he would announce the starter a week before the opening game against Minnesota, but c'mon, the situation was set up perfectly for Paulus to emerge as the starter.
The main question Syracuse and its fans have to ask themselves is "what do we have to lose?"
After finally bringing an end to the Greg Robinson era and compiling a record of 10-17 over the last four years, its time for change and new faces. Greg Paulus is that face (along with Doug Marrone).
Although Paulus has been off the turf for the last four years, he still has more credentials than any other QB at 'Cuse. Going 13-0 plus throwing 43 TD's his senior season, achieving five New York state records, and did I mention winning the Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year.
If the Greg Paulus experiment doesn't workout then Syracuse is back to square one, but if he does succeed the Orange can have a good season which is a big step towards rebuilding the program.
Some might point out that Greg Paulus only has only one year of eligibility and there's no way Marrone would bench him, but Marrone promised early that Paulus would have to earn the starting role.
Now there is the theory that Paulus was named the starter to boost ticket sales. I don't believe Doug Marrone would appoint Paulus as QB for tickets, but you can't deny that he contributes to the hype for the upcoming season. Syracuse fans are excited to witness what can occur this season and have demonstrated it the good ol' fashioned way by buying tickets.
Eight hundred tickets were sold in the first few hours, season ticket sales are 20 percent ahead of last year, and 20,000 tickets in total have been sold over the month of August.
With new head coach Doug Marrone, the return of Mike Williams, plus the addition of Greg Paulus, the Orange football hype has been growing like a snowball rolling down a hill at Syracuse during winter.
With many excited for the upcoming football season, I must tweak a quote from the great Flavor Flav and "DO Believe the Hype."