Michigan State Football: Top 10 quarterbacks in school history

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Dec 5, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) warms up before the Big Ten Conference football championship game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We take a look at who the top quarterbacks in Michigan State football history are from No. 10 to No. 1.

Over the years, the Michigan State football program has become known as somewhat of a ‘QBU’. What this means is that the Spartans have developed so much talent at the quarterback position and sent it through to the NFL that not many other schools in college football can match that.

Just look at the success the Spartans have had at that position in recent years. Drew Stanton, Brian Hoyer, Kirk Cousins and soon-to-be Connor Cook have all made the seamless jump from college to the league.

Mark Dantonio and his staff have produced so much NFL talent since 2007 that the previous head coaching regimes don’t really match up.

So with that, we take a look at the top 10 quarterbacks in Michigan State history. Disagree with the rankings? Let us know in the comment section below.

Just missed the cut: Jimmy Raye (led MSU to 1966 national title), Earl Morrall (1955-56; All-American at MSU and even better professional QB)

10. Tony Banks (1994-95)

Dec 5, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A helmet is raised in celebration after the Michigan State Spartans defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference football championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As a JUCO All-American transfer, there were high hopes for Tony Banks in the green and white. Coming into the program in 1994, the Spartans were hoping for a Rose Bowl, but a couple of early losses dampened those aspirations drastically.

Banks didn’t have the most successful Michigan State career, especially based on the expectations, but the mobile quarterback proved to be more effective at the next level, passing for 15,315 yards and 77 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons in which he started 78 career games.

In his two seasons at Michigan State, though, he did put together some decent stats, passing for 4,129 yards and 20 touchdowns, both good for 11th all-time, but his 21 interceptions overshadowed his success through the air.

Banks has had one of the more successful pro careers of any former Michigan State quarterback, and that’s a big reason as to why he cracked the top 10. Jimmy Raye was almost named to the top 10 for his efforts as a national champion QB for the Spartans in the 1960s, but he just didn’t have the stats.

Next: 9. Dan Enos (1987-90)