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.