Mike Paulus Did Not Want To Compete, So Russell Wilson Came To State

Bob Lee Swagger, a UNC blogger of note, had this little tidbit about Russell Wilson and his interest in playing football for UNC prior to his commitment to the Wolfpack:

“I don’t follow “recruiting” as a life passion but several who do passed on this little tidbit.  Two years ago Russell Wilson was a highly touted QB in Richmond.  Russell Wilson is THE Total Package of athletic ability, leadership, character, academics and every other admirable character known to mankind.  He is “a Manning“.  That Total Package was very interested in attending UNC in 2006.  Guess why John Bunting backed off?

“Because Mike Paulus’ daddy said his son would not come to UNC if he had to compete against another QB in his class.   Fear of competition is usually a warning signal but recognizing recruiting warning signals was never John’s strength as a Head Coach.  Racking up impressive starts in a private school league is another warning sign but who’s counting.  As Tar Heel board monkeys immediately fitted Phenom Paulus for his sure Heisman and numerous BCS rings, Russell Wilson quietly signed with NC State.

“Its doubtful Mr Paulus bothers to attend UNC games this year or ever will again.  One has to wonder what son Mike was thinking as he held his clipboard and scratched himself on the sidelines Saturday.”

Interesting, to say the least — in the sweepstakes that is college recruiting, UNC passed over a 2-star recruit in order to spare the feelings of another more highly rated recruit’s father’s ego.  Even worse, Bunting ignored other warning signs in order to get that Five-Star recruit that all of the recruiting experts and sportswriters talk about all the time.

Oops, now, Bunting is unemployed, Paulus is manning a clipboard and rarely playing and Wilson has become a star QB…for the rival team.

Think about this story the next time a UNC fan brags to you about how their recruiting is so much better than what Tom O’Brien and his staff are doing.  Sure, O’Brien is looking for top-quality football players like everyone else, but he is also too smart to be held hostage by a prep player’s Dad’s inflated ego…and he was also smart enough to honor the commitment of a recruit who didn’t have the hype but had all the intangibles you could ever hope for in a player that’s wanting to join your team.

Football Recruiting

28 Responses to Mike Paulus Did Not Want To Compete, So Russell Wilson Came To State

  1. YANCSSB 11/25/2008 at 11:19 AM #

    Should that be “didn’t?”

  2. smithdl4 11/25/2008 at 11:24 AM #

    Perhaps the reason RW was only a two star recruit out of high school was his school is also a private school located here in VA. If a private school is to be a warning in recruiting as BobleeSwagger suggests then maybe little brother Paulus was riding the five star wave created by his big brother, Greg, at Duke.

  3. b8zs_Wolf 11/25/2008 at 11:49 AM #

    I saw somewhere that TOB said he didn’t have many top 25 recruiting classes at BC and did OK. I would have to agree with that and add that I think he could take it up a level with the support and resources he has in Raleigh.

    I am more convinced than ever that we will be successful by focusing on the OL recruits that fit our staff’s requirements and internal standards than on any other measure of recruiting. OL recruits rarely pull in the star rankings anyway (or are the least reliable from what I’ve seen)

    I think most of us can agree that there are dozens of RBs and WRs who can be wildly successful (regardless of their star rankings) if provided a smart QB and an OL to block for that QB and RBs.

    Let other programs get wrapped up in the rankings. I’m for a nice steady upward trend that comes from a well-developed pipeline of OL and DL development over time.

  4. wirogers 11/25/2008 at 12:08 PM #


    You are so correct about OL making marginal to bad QBs and RBs look good. The perfect example is the Washington Redskins, when they had the ‘HOGS’ for an offensive line. Not asying that all the QBs and RBs that were behind this line were not good to great; however, there were many that due to this line were at best ‘one hit wonders’.

  5. BJD95 11/25/2008 at 12:12 PM #

    True or False: The Paulus clan is the most overrated athletic family of all time.

    I vote True, at least as far back as I can remember.

  6. WolftownVA81 11/25/2008 at 12:17 PM #

    And alls well that ends well. Good for Russell that he had the cajones to compete and the fortitude to stick with a program that wasn’t looking too good last year. Go Pack.

  7. Sweet jumper 11/25/2008 at 12:37 PM #

    I wonder if Daddy Paulus called up Coach K about Greg’s reduced role this year. If he did, I would love to hear Coach K’s response.

  8. sodstaple 11/25/2008 at 1:17 PM #

    I like these 2 quotes from the article by BobLee.

    “Was I the only one thinking during yesterday’s 3rd quarter disemboweling “if we only had all those suites and that east end zone closed in I bet we could actually stop State on a 3rd and long.” Darn those Rams Club fat cats.”

    “Am I the only one who’s noticed that Carolina Football has been “all about Butch Davis” since he arrived two years ago. OK, “all about Butch Davis” AND the use of Navy as a uniform color. Have we got our priorites in line or what!”

    BobLee is giving BMFD heck. I love it.

  9. stejen 11/25/2008 at 1:34 PM #

    This reminds me of a similar situation about 10 years ago when UNC signed a 5 star QB named Curry and Virginia Tech settled on an unknown Michael Vick. The two played in the same high school conference if I remember correctly. What I do remember is an interview of Vick’s high school head coach and he said he coached againt Curry for four years and coached him on several all star teams and there was no doubt Curry was by far the better of the two QB’s. What happened was Va Tech decided to develop Vick whereas UNC just expected Curry to drop in and win a national championship. “The difference between the two now is how they have been coached” if I remember his quote correctly.
    It will be interesting to see what happens from here, though, as both Dana Bible and TOB prefer the conventional offense with the drop back passer with a cannon for an arm. Do we stick with what is working now or go with Glennon next year when we finally have some depth (and beef) on the OL?

  10. wolfpackdawg 11/25/2008 at 1:39 PM #

    The Claussen clan is highly overrated also imo.

  11. packalum44 11/25/2008 at 2:35 PM #


    We had a better recruiting class last year. TOB’s first year was only partial in terms of recruiting so that cannot be compared to Butch’s first year. So as things are now, they are tied 1-1 in the recruiting battle. These things are cylical. TOB is still recruiting better talent now than at any time in BC. Let it be known he will be better here than at BC.

    BTW, he was competing for ACC championships and consistently top 20 at BC. I have always expected a consistent top 20 and hopefully a top 10 team. Why? We have a top 10 coach in an easy conference with the best facilities barring FL State. I wouldn’t be surprised if Butch re-thinks that TN gig. His ego is too big to get beat by TOB and NC State regularly. At least in SEC, he gets beat by the Sabans and Spurriers and Myers. He’s overrated as much as the Paulus clan. BTW, Paulus was a 4-star recruit as is Mike Glennon.

  12. SEAT.5.F.2 11/25/2008 at 3:49 PM #


    Vick was hardly and unknown, and it wasn’t like Beamer felt at the time that he was picking up the leftovers.

    BobLee killed on this one, very high credit to the man who can take a bitter dissappointment of day and turn it into a hilariuos commentary.

    In humor you can actually trick people into understanding the truth of the matter. His point that Butch demands stadium upgrades, including wanting to see on the calender when he gets the golden shovel and hard hat picture, (oh and that pesky matter of getting Sexton his which can’t happen unless Butch gets more salary), all at a time when the Economy is taking a nose dive.

    I asked my father in law, the man who has studied, taught and done research at NC State for nearly 30 years. The grant money for reseach done that helps cure diseases dries up first during these bad times because they are all tied in to endowments derived out of the stock market essentially. Technician jobs will be elimannated and research will be halted.

    But BMFD will continue his great experiment at Chapel Hill based solely on the empirical evidence of scout/rivals rankings.

    …oh and the bit envisioning Dwight Jones as the next ACC Rhodes Scholar is pretty nasty too..

  13. PackerInRussia 11/25/2008 at 4:19 PM #

    I also thought of the Clausens although Clausen #1 wasn’t bad was he?

  14. redfred2 11/25/2008 at 4:50 PM #

    “It will be interesting to see what happens from here, though, as both Dana Bible and TOB prefer the conventional offense with the drop back passer with a cannon for an arm. Do we stick with what is working now or go with Glennon next year when we finally have some depth (and beef) on the OL?”

    It will be interesting for sure, but Glennon had better be able to move around and run with the football when necessary, because from what I’ve witnessed thus far, there is already a laser-guided missile launcher in place.

  15. Afterglow 11/25/2008 at 7:49 PM #

    Yeah, if you speak of RW being the “laser-guided missile launcher” then I’d agree; I think it may be another year before Glennon sees actual meaningful action on the field. And depending on which way RW’s heart is tugged-perhaps another on top of that. It’s hard to predict what he’ll do with his career but I believe RW has IT!

  16. cowdog 11/25/2008 at 8:17 PM #

    Late to the party again.

    Red you are to see a conundrum in its purest form about to be played out. On one hand TO landed his proto QB and on the other hand he inhereted a gorilla in the room. ( I’m fond of gorillas )

  17. Afterglow 11/25/2008 at 8:54 PM #

    Anyone know what year Matt Ryan was in when he started to actually see minutes on the field?

    It’s strange… it’s almost like O’Brien and CO figured if they can get through this year with solid QB play, a decent OL in place, decent performance from the D and (over all) a system that runs like a well oiled machine-that they would be able to drop Glennon into place. But I’m almost wandering if Glennon at this point is starting to think twice about where he is now. What appeared to be a lock for him in 09 seems now to be a battle (at best) during spring drills.

    I suppose it’s a good problem but one has to wonder…

  18. cowdog 11/25/2008 at 9:27 PM #

    Yes Afterglow…one has to wonder. But I don’t think that the staff knew what they actually had until forced to think outside the comfort zone this spring.

    Now that Bible and TO ” tweaked or flat pulled the “other” scheme out conducive to the talents at hand…follow me here boys and girls…

    Glennon is gone after next year or not. But O’Brien is not about to make O changes as long as Wilson is on board.

  19. Afterglow 11/25/2008 at 9:53 PM #

    That’s what throws me just a little is that they didn’t know what they had. It was a coin toss and the sides (mind you) were Evans and Wilson-oh… and Burgerbellybeck if you want to count the likelihood of the coin landing on its edge. I surmise that O’Brien wanted to keep the competition hot but come on…

    O’Brien knew Wilson was better all along but like the rest of us, simply had no idea that he was this good.

    I think Glennon leaving (IF HE SHOULD) would cause somewhat of a ripple. Say Wilson plays out the next year and does it in startling fashion once again throwing up Riveresque numbers with Riveresque smarts but a lot more mobility. I think the one thing that will sell him short is physical aspect as (barring a Tom Gugliotta growth spurt) he’s probably not going to grow much taller than his 5.11 frame and NFL teams may see that as enough of a downside to stray away from him. With this, I would think he would then focus on baseball and possibly be drafted early. This is all speculative supposition of course as if granmother had balls she’d be grandpa.

  20. LRM 11/25/2008 at 10:23 PM #

    I just don’t get it. RW is playing at near-perfection and people are still talking about Glennon? This reeks already of Applewhite/Simms. Let’s cherish what we have while we have it.

    And recruiting doesn’t win titles, coaching does.

  21. Afterglow 11/25/2008 at 10:31 PM #

    Fair enough. RW rocks! GO PACK!!!

  22. gcpack 11/25/2008 at 10:52 PM #

    Glennon may not have to wait very long if Wilson gets a lucrative MLBaseball contract offer. That may solve the entire connundrum. The only thing re: Glennon is that the trend today is for a very mobile q-back to run the offense
    which isn’t Glennon if I understand his playing style correctly.

  23. wufpup76 11/25/2008 at 11:02 PM #

    “I just don’t get it. RW is playing at near-perfection and people are still talking about Glennon? This reeks already of Applewhite/Simms. Let’s cherish what we have while we have it.

    And recruiting doesn’t win titles, coaching does”

    ^What he said

  24. Alpha Wolf 11/26/2008 at 8:23 AM #

    ^^ Pour me a double on the ‘coaching wins titles’ comments. A truer comment has never been posted here.

  25. Ismael 11/26/2008 at 8:52 AM #

    What in the hell are you guys talking about? This is one of the most well-respected blogs not jut about NC State but in college football. There is seriously no need to talk about any QB controversy when 1) it doesn’t exist and 2) it makes people talk and potentially cause one (that doesn’t exist).

    So some questions have been raised: Can Glennon work in the current offense?
    Watch the ESPN UnderArmour game, watch Glennon get outside the pocket, run it into the endzone, etc. That should answer any of these questions. Actually the offense that whoever the coach was in this game, looks alot like what State runs now: Shotgun QB who has the option of handing off or passing, some misdirection etc.

    Glennon’s high school championship game highlights:

    Right now, all i care about is the fact that we have an awesome QB, Go Russell and Go Pack

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