DURHAM, N.C. - Things have sure changed a lot since the first week of the season for senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.
During camp Lewis was hit not only by a nagging ankle injury, but also the flu. The combination of both limited the number of reps he took in camp and slowed his on field preparation for the season.
He gutted it out on the field in Duke's home opener, something his teammates had seen the quarterback do all August under the hot sun.
"He never lost his spirit, and you wouldn't believe how many times he tried to practice or tried to go through it and I just had to pull him out," David Cutcliffe said during his Sunday teleconference. "I think his team saw that."
The team has watched the Opa-Locka, Fla. native return to his old self and then some through the previous eight weeks.
"He is a special young man," Cutcliffe said. "It goes beyond what he does on the field for us. He is a tremendous leader. Quarterback's sometimes try to be a leader. Thad Lewis doesn't have to try for people respond to him. He is very spirited."
Lewis threw for over 300 yards for the third consecutive game and fourth time this season on Saturday against Maryland. He ended the game with 371 yards on 30-of-43 (.698) passing and two touchdowns.
"His play right now is so consistent and so good," Cutcliffe said. "He is a very talented young man. I think what it does, on both sides of the ball, is guys feel like if we play well then Thad is going to give us a chance to win the game because he can make so many plays."
Duke overcame uncharacteristic penalties, turnovers, missed tackles and down-pouring rain to take down Maryland 17-13 from Wallace Wade Stadium.
Lewis registered his fourth 300-yard game of the season to move into a tie for second most in a single season in school history and his eighth of his career, tying him for third all-time.
His play is drawing interest from top NFL scouts.
"I am getting a lot more questions and a lot more interest from what I consider the top line of scouts," Cutcliffe said.
"I do watch tape [of NFL games] and I see a lot of backups that end up playing and I have seen guys that have made rosters, and he [Lewis] is better than a lot of guys in that league."