W & M opens spring football practice, Mike Paulus starts his quest to become Tribe QB

"I feel like more of a college student here," he said.

"In the ACC or the Big East, football almost becomes your job, 24/7. You have to work here, too, but at Carolina, the football players were kind of on an island. The football facility had its own weight room, its own cafeteria, computer labs, tutors. You almost never had to leave.

"Here, you go to the cafeteria with different people or you go to the library with different people. Even going to the weight room at William and Mary Hall, you're around other athletes. ... I'd say the biggest thing is it's allowed me to widen my friend base."

As Paulus cultivates friends and shakes off the rust from a couple of years of bench time, his goals remain the same as when he dominated upstate New York prep football. He wants to play in college, to win championships, to give himself the opportunity to go to the NFL.

That he had to take a detour is simply another challenge.

"I want to win the job and make Coach Laycock feel comfortable playing me," Paulus said. "If I get the other 10 guys rolling and we win games, then that other stuff will happen. But that's a long-term goal. Right now, I'm just focused on the short-term goal."

Dave Fairbank can be reached at 247-4637 or by e-mail at dfairbank@dailypress.com. For more from Fairbank, read his blog at dailypress.com/fromthetarpit.



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