Michigan State Football: Ranking top 5 quarterbacks since 2000

Kirk Cousins, Michigan State football (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State football (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football
Brian Lewerke, Michigan State football (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Some people might be shocked by this pick, but Brian Lewerke had a successful career as a Michigan State quarterback and it’s unfortunate that it was marred by his junior campaign which was just an overall disaster.

Lewerke had a breakout sophomore season and it’s more than likely the quarterback he should have been throughout his three-year career as a starter. He was healthy and played as well as anyone in the Big Ten outside of maybe Trace McSorley and JT Barrett in 2017, passing for 2,793 yards and 20 touchdowns. He completed 59 percent of his throws which left room for improvement, but he was one of the best dual-threats in the nation.

In fact, he rushed for 559 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore.

That aggressiveness in the run game likely led to him taking just one too many hits as a sophomore, hurting his shoulder but opting to play through it. That didn’t go well as he finished with just over 2,000 yards with eight touchdowns and 11 picks.

As a senior, he bounced back and passes for 3,079 yards and 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and he looked more like his 2017 self, but not completely back. His inaccuracy issues on simple passes were the theme of his final two seasons, but he still had a heck of a career.

Lewerke finished with 8,293 yards and 47 touchdown passes along with three bowl appearances and two postseason victories. He also rushed for 1,255 yards and 10 touchdowns during his career. He just edged out a fellow undrafted free agent on this list.

Honorable mention: Brian Hoyer (2005-08)