Syracuse sophomore quarterback Rex Culpepper, who is battling testicular cancer, was told by coach Dino Babers that he would not be able to participate in the Orange's spring scrimmage on Friday night.
He was told wrong.
Culpepper, who is scheduled to begin his second round of chemotherapy on Monday, was inserted into the scrimmage for the final drive. Before his first snap, he took a moment to hug Babers.
Then Culpepper got to work, leading the offense down the field. After throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ravian Pierce, he was mobbed by teammates.
"It just felt surreal," Culpepper said, according to Syracuse.com. "It was spectacular. I'll never forget that."
Babers said other players on the field "were under strict orders not to get close [to Culpepper], or else." He also had a message for his quarterback.
"If you go three-and-out, that's it," Culpepper said of Babers' marching orders. "If you go all the way down the field, good job."
He'll use that motivation as he returns to his treatments. Culpepper told reporters that he expects to be cleared to return for fall practice.
"I just feel like I'm really going into it like it's a prize fight and this is round two," Culpepper said. "I worked out, I practiced and this time I'm more ready for it."