Graphic By Charles Nailen/The Hoya Head Coach Bob Benson and the Paulus brothers are all determined to reshape the face of Georgetown football.

If there is one thing that is familiar to the Paulus family, it’s competition. Vying for attention among six other siblings, you can get a lot of practice at it, and at the same time make a best friend. And now that three of the brothers are at Georgetown and are members of the football team, they have plenty of time to spend together in the spotlight.

Dave (MSB ’03), Matt (MSB ’04) and Dan (MSB ’05) grew up in Manilus, N.Y., just outside Syracuse, where they all attended Christian Brothers Academy, a school noted for producing talent on the gridiron.

The Paulus family didn’t hesitate to make their names synonymous with athletic success. Dave, captain of the CBA basketball and football teams, was a two-time All-Central New York selection at quarterback. Matt received All-County and All-League honors in football, basketball and baseball, leading the Brothers to three consecutive sectional championships.

Starting a Tradition

Dave’s solid skills caught the eye of Georgetown Head Football Coach Bob Benson, who motivated Dave to be a part of the Hoyas’ transition into the Patriot League.

Dave appreciated the effort and confidence put forth by Benson.

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Coach Benson,” he said. “He recruited me heavily, saying I could really help out the school.”

Georgetown’s strong academic reputation, however, also played a tremendous part in drawing him to the Hilltop.

“You can’t beat the education. That’s what we’re here for first. I liked the atmosphere, the kids at the school and it was a good fit for me personally,” Dave said.

“Dave was recruited by almost all the Patriot and Ivy Leagues,” Benson said. “I think it was important to the family for him to go to an educational place, but I also think it was important for him to go somewhere with a Jesuit philosophy.”

Only a year later, Matt followed his brother to D.C., his brother’s attendence playing a large factor in his decision to attend Georgetown.

“The education is number one, and number two is because Dave is here,” he said.

Dave agreed that he was pulling for his brother to pick Georgetown.

“He’s my brother, but he’s my best friend too. We’ve been on the same teams growing up. We wanted to be together again.”

Last year, when the time came for Dan to apply to colleges, the decision was natural.

“It was a big factor that both of them were here. It made everything a lot easier,” Dan said.

Along with the rest of the Paulus family, Benson was very pleased with Dan’s decision to attend Georgetown.

“Dan is probably the biggest surprise of the bunch. He wasn’t as highly recruited as Dave or Matt but he’s going to be good,” Benson said. “He’s smart, elusive and has good hands.”

The Paulus brothers are not following a long-standing family tradition of Hoya athletes, but seemingly starting one of their own. And with four more athletic siblings – three brothers and one sister – still at home, this tradition has promise to carry on in years to come.

“I think our dad has a dream in the back of his mind that we’ll all come here. I hope they do. It’s a great school,” Matt said.

On and Off the Field

The trio acknowledged that their rivalry has continued at Georgetown.

“There have been some fights,” Dave admitted, “but it’s always fun.”

“It’s basically two on one out there,” Matt, a linebacker, said. “I’m on the defense side and they’re both on offense.”

Dan, a wide receiver, admitted he and Dave joke around with att, but the rivalry is definitely mutual.

“Matt always tells me `I’m coming for you.’ He tries to get in his cheap shots,” Dave said.

Although they have their share of fun, they’re also there to help each other out. Having two older brothers to show him the ropes has helped Dan adjust more easily to life on the Hilltop.

“They always tell me `don’t get too frustrated. It will always be all right,'” Dan said.

Matt also finds guidance from his older brother.

“Dave is a good role model. He helped me with everything, telling me how to balance my time with school and what to expect,” he said.

Benson detects a certain chemistry among the three, and values their decision to continue playing football together at Georgetown.

“You can tell they enjoy each other. I think there’s a certain amount of respect between all of them. They’re all excellent athletes,” Benson said. “Families want to stick together and I like to honor that. It’s nice when they’re good football players, though.”

Taking the Next Step

Although the trio is dissatisfied with the Hoyas’ 0-3 start on the season, all three are enthusiastic about the step up in competition and certain that their trials now will pay off in the future.

Dave is currently punting for the team, averaging 33.7 yards, with an average of 15.3 yards rushing in the few stints he’s seen at quarterback. In his freshman year, Dave was also a walk on to the men’s basketball team, but saw little playing time.

After coming back from a shoulder injury last spring, Matt is ready to “help the team win some games. Hopefully we can win a Patriot League championship before I graduate,” he said.

Dan is taking freshman year step by step, always looking to his brothers for guidance. “They’re always pointing me in the right direction,” he said.

It is good practice. With three younger brothers, in a few more years, he might be the big brother at Georgetown.

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