Greg Paulus hasn't played a down of college football but the Duke basketball player worked out for the Green Bay Packers on campus last week.
Duke spokesman Matt Plizga confirmed the report by ProFootballTalk.com that Paulus, an All-American quarterback in high school, worked out for a Packers scout on Thursday. Paulus threw passes to Duke's All-ACC receiver Eron Riley, who's considered a late-round draft prospect. They were the only two players at the workout, according to Duke.
Paulus, who started three seasons for the Blue Devils' basketball team and was a reserve guard on this year's ACC championship team, hasn't taken a snap at quarterback since the 2004 U.S. Army All-American game.
He went 42-3 as a starter at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y. and set the state record for passing yards (11,763). He finished his prep career with 152 passing touchdowns.
Scout.com rated Paulus the ninth-best quarterback prospect in his high school class — ahead of future Big 12 stars Colt McCoy (Texas) and Chase Daniel (Missouri) — and he received multiple scholarship offers to play football, notably at Notre Dame.
Technically, Paulus, who will graduate with a political science degree next month, still has a season of college football eligibility.
He could play for Duke or transfer to a Division II program (the NCAA changed its transfer rules in 2006 which would prevent Paulus from playing for another Division I team).
Given Duke's quarterback situation, with senior Thad Lewis, a three-year starter, and redshirt freshman Sean Renfree, a top prospect, it's unlikely Paulus would play for Duke in 2009. He could join the team and learn from Duke coach David Cutcliffe, a noted quarterback specialist, but that wouldn't help him in terms of game action.
Paulus is coming off difficult senior season in basketball. He lost his starting point guard job to Nolan Smith in November, then briefly won it back in February, but was sent back to the bench and didn't play more than 20 minutes in the final 12 games of his career.
He averaged 4.9 points and 16.1 minutes — both career-lows — in 36 games.
He wouldn't be the first basketball player to jump to the NFL without playing college football. Antonio Gates signed a free agent contract with San Diego Chargers after helping the Kent State basketball team to the Final Eight in 2003.
But Gates made the transition from power forward to tight end. The transtion at quarterback would be considerably more taxing. Plus, at 6-1, Paulus would be considered undersized for an NFL quarterback.