Michigan State - Quarterback U?

Michigan State - Quarterback U?

Columnists

Michigan State - Quarterback U?

Spartan program has NFL quarterback legacy that would surprise the average football fan.  How does that legacy match up when compared to the commonly recognized “Quarterback U” schools?

Contact @crowleysullivan

When the Los Angeles Rams selected Brian Allen in the fourth round of the NFL Draft that just took place, Michigan State extended its streak of consecutive years with at least one Spartan being drafted by an NFL team to an astonishing – and under-reported – 78 years.

The average college football fan simply isn’t aware of the fact that Michigan State has sent as many Spartans to the NFL as it has over the decades.

And as Brian Lewerke prepares for what may be an explosive junior season as the Spartans’ field general, it’s worth asking a bold question that, as far as I can tell, nobody else has asked:

Is Michigan State worthy of being legitimately thought of as a Quarterback U?

It’s acceptable that most football fans don’t know that Earl Morrall played for Michigan State prior to a 20-year NFL career that earned him Hall of Fame status.

But does the average football fan out there know that – if we just go back to 1994 – this is a list of Spartan signal callers who have earned or are earning NFL paychecks?

Connor Cook

Kirk Cousins

Drew Stanton

Brian Hoyer

Jeff Smoker

Tony Banks

Jim Miller

We’re not attempting to state that Michigan State is THE Quarterback U.

Purdue, USC, even UMAA – these schools have always sent quarterbacks to the NFL where they’ve become household names.

And these schools should be proud of their earned status as “Quarterback U” programs.

But, if we take a closer look, let’s see how things actually look on paper if we compared Michigan State’s list of NFLers with these programs’ QBs that have gone to the NFL.

How about Purdue’s list of signal callers – and we’ll go all the way back to 1987 – that went on to the NFL look like?

Curtis Painter

Kyle Orton

Drew Brees

Jim Everett

Nobody will ever dispute that Drew Brees will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.

However, is it fair to suggest that Purdue’s “Quarterback U” legacy is a bit overplayed (with all due respect to Len Dawson)?

How about USC’s list, going back to 1995?

Sam Darnold

Cody Kessler

Matt Barkley

Mark Sanchez

John David Booty

Matt Leinart

Matt Cassel

Carson Palmer

Kyle Wachholtz

Rob Johnson

Even with Kyle Wachholtz, that’s an amazing run of quarterbacks with star power, actual achievement, and longevity once they went from from the glitz and glamour of Southern California to the glitz and glamour of the NFL.

UMAA, going all the way back to 1987?

Jake Ruddock

Chad Henne

John Navarre

Drew Henson

Tom Brady

Brian Griese

Todd Collins

Elvis Grbac

Jim Harbaugh

If this list only included one name, it’d probably deserve Quarterback U status forever since Tom Brady will go down as the greatest quarterback and greatest champion of all time.

But the rest of that list of quarterbacks is certainly worthy of our respect.

Go back now and take a good look at that list of Spartans who have earned a living playing quarterback for NFL teams.

There are seven quarterbacks there who have made their mark, at the very least.

And when you look at the current lineup of Spartans in the NFL, you see  collection of players that are either among the best players in the entire league or meaningful contributors to their organizations.

It’s possible that Brian Lewerke will be the next great Spartan quarterback to be drafted and to go on to greatness in the NFL.

Lewerke has a huge opportunity to lead the Spartans to championship-level accomplishments – and he has an opportunity to grow as a quarterback and leader in ways that can allow him to be positioned to go into his senior season as one of the top three or five quarterbacks in the nation.

It’s safe to assume that if Lewerke stays healthy and continues to improve, he’ll hear his name called in the NFL Draft.

That would make four NFL quarterbacks from Mark Dantonio’s program.

While UMAA can be very proud of what it’s produced in terms of quarterbacks over the years, the Spartans have made up quite a bit of ground over the recent past.

Drew Brees carries the torch for the Boilers – but beyond Brees, Purdue’s status is starting to collect some dust.

Nobody will ever challenge USC on the top shelf when we think about what school deserves the true title of “Quarterback U.”

However, as is the case with so many other aspects of the Michigan State football program, the average fan out there simply isn’t aware of the fact that the Green & White have a very impressive quarterback legacy – and that the legacy that’s been created will only grow in the short and long term.

 

 

Latest

More SpartansWire
Home