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
Jeff Smoker, Michigan State football (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The first quarterback since 2000 happened to be Jeff Smoker who may be the most forgotten of the bunch despite him putting up some monster numbers throughout his career.

Smoker was a five-star recruit back in his day and got the nod as the starting quarterback as a freshman, playing in nine games and passing for 1,365 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. Obviously this wasn’t the start he would have liked, but he quickly turned things around in 2001 as a sophomore.

In fact, he passed for 2,579 yards and 21 touchdowns with only eight picks and 63 percent completion rate.

Unfortunately, he took a step back as a junior in 2002 as Michigan State had a rough season as he played in eight games, passing for 1,593 yards and 13 touchdowns with 10 picks. He needed a bounce-back year as a senior and he got just that. He put up some gaudy numbers with 3,395 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air, leading Michigan State to an 8-5 record. Interceptions remained an issue as he tossed 14.

To end his career, he lived up to the hype in two out of his four seasons and he would have been much higher on this list if he cut his interception numbers down — and if Michigan State wasn’t a fringe-bowl team for four years.

He finished his career with 8,932 yards and 61 touchdown passes.