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Thad Lewis not the first Bills QB from Duke

By Mark Gaughan

NFL quarterbacks from Duke University are a rarity. When Thad Lewis started for Cleveland late last season he was the first Duke QB to start an NFL game since Dave Brown in the 2000 season.

The best Duke QB was Washington Redskins great Sonny Jurgensen, who played 18 seasons, from 1957 to 1974.

Lewis will become the second Duke QB ever to start for the Bills, and fans should hope he does better than the first. Dukie Leo Hart played in two games for the Bills in 1972. His first appearance was in relief of Dennis Shaw at Cleveland, and his first pass was intercepted and returned 36 yards for a touchdown. Hart started the next week at Pittsburgh ... and his first pass of that game was intercepted.

Lewis is a proud Duke alumnus. He graduated in 3 1/2 years with a degree in sociology.

Duke's basketball team won the national title (beating Butler in the final) during Lewis' senior year.

Lewis on the best Duke hoops game he ever attended: "When I was recruited, I saw J.J. Redick play and I saw him drop 38. He might have only missed two shots, so that was pretty impressive."

Lewis was a regular attendee at Duke basketball games but he did not sit in the section with the Cameron Crazies: "No, no. It’s a little crazy over there, but I did go to the games."

Lewis' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, also is a Duke alumnus.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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