Memo To Punditry - Michigan State Has A Quarterback

Memo To Punditry - Michigan State Has A Quarterback

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Memo To Punditry - Michigan State Has A Quarterback

There sure is a lot of attention being paid to a quarterback in the state of Michigan.  Too bad most of that attention is on the wrong guy.

Contact @crowleysullivan

When I crawled out of bed this morning, I tripped over a college football expert who was on my bedroom floor talking about a quarterback in the state of Michigan who’s going to get his team to the College Football Playoff because of his “will to win.”

As I walked down the stairs in my morning haze, there was another college football expert sitting at the foot of the stairs shouting about how the same quarterback is “special” because he’s “one of the guys.”

As I was standing in the kitchen, staring out the window, waiting for my coffee to be ready, Marty Smith of ESPN – you know, the guy that wears the colorfully creative and unique clothes that give him the panache not usually associated with college football experts – barreled through the back door and was providing more shouting about this same quarterback and how his rifle arm and ability to create plays has his coach brimming with a confident look on his face.

These experts were all presenting lots of tidbits about the “intangibles,” how this quarterback is getting set to light up the state of Michigan and show the world how he’s going to lead his program to a triumphant return to the spotlight.

The weird thing about all of this?

These experts were talking about a guy who left the University of Mississippi before his college career came to a conclusion.

I know – there are always good reasons for these kinds of developments.  And none of this is meant to knock the player himself – he made a decision that was best for him.

Good for him.

But, here’s a reasonable question – can anyone imagine Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke transferring from Mark Dantonio’s program after this season and going to, say, LSU to help Coach O with his colorful approach to resurrecting the Bayou Bengals?

I think it’s fun and cute and interesting that there’s a guy who decided to leave the University of Mississippi to go to another program and try to do great things.

It’s a cute story.

Here, however, is the story that actually warrants legitimate attention:

Michigan State has a junior quarterback returning as the Spartans’ starter and leader who has piled up these vitals for a team that went 10-3 last season, won its bowl game, beat its rivals once again, and has 19 starters back:

  • Fourth-year player entering his second season as the starting quarterback for Michigan State after starting and/or playing in zero games for any other schools.
  • Ranked among the Top 10 quarterbacks in the nation (No. 8) by Sporting News.
  • Named to watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell Award (college player of the year) and the Davey O’Brien Award (national quarterback of the year).
  • Ranked one of the Big Ten’s best players (No. 9) by CollegeFootballNews.com.
  • Named preseason All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports (second team).
  • Two-year letter winner has played in 17 career games at Michigan State and zero games at any other schools, including 15 starts for the Spartans and zero starts for any other schools (10-5 record).
  • Has completed 58.4 percent of his passes (277-of-474) in his career for 3,174 yards, with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while rushing for 708 yards on 145 career carries (4.9 ypc) with five touchdowns.
  • Has 3,882 yards of total offense, which ranks No. 18 on MSU’s career total offense list (reminder – he’s entering his Junior season), and is also No. 12 on career total offense yards per play (6.27).
  • No. 10 on Michigan State’s career list for both passing TDs (22) and passing completion percentage (.584).
  • No. 14 on Michigan State’s career list for pass efficiency (126.6).
  • No. 15 on Michigan State’s career list for pass attempts (474), pass completions (277) and passing yards (3,174), becoming the 16th Spartan QB to reach the 3,000 career passing yards plateau.
  • Is a member of the team’s Eagles leadership council which means, among other things, that he’s “got that it factor,” that he’s “one of the guys,” that he’s “not an ego type of guy,” and that he’s earned the respect of his teammates and coaches.

Brian Lewerke has already shown that he’s a big time winner at the school where he’ll be the clear-cut leader, clear-cut offensive spark plug, clear-cut dual threat weapon as a passer and a runner, and clear-cut guy that everyone that comes within a mile of can see has every bit of the “it” factor.

There are all kinds of fun and cute stories out there and there are some coaches who like to say goofy things and proclaim that this player has this “magic” or that player has this “special quality” before this player or that player has ever even played a down of football for the school that the coach coaches for.

At Michigan State, players earn “accolades” by winning games, conference championships, the Rose Bowl, other bowls, reaching the College Football Playoff, and defeating rivals on a regular and practically annual basis.

Brian Lewerke has a few things on the tentpole achievements listed above still to reach.

He knows that.

His coach knows that.

His teammates who elected him as one the team captains know that.

He and his coach are concentrating on reality, on winning Michigan State’s fourth Big Ten Championship in twelve years, on reaching Michigan State’s second College Football Playoff, and beating the Spartans’ rivals – once again.

The most meaningful part about the story of Brian Lewerke – the best parts have yet to be told.

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