Over the past ten years, the Michigan State Spartans football team has witnessed a succession of talented quarterbacks who have left their mark on the program. From their achievements on the field to their impact in the NFL and even Hall of Fame recognition, these quarterbacks have contributed to the legacy of the Spartans’ football program.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the notable Michigan State quarterbacks from the past decade.
List of the Michigan State Quarterbacks Past Ten Years
- Andrew Maxwell: 2010 to 2013
- Connor Cook: 2012 to 2015
- Tyler O’Connor: 2013 to 2016
- Damion Terry: 2014 to 2017
- Colar Kuhns: 2015 to 2016
- Brian Lewerke: 2015 to 2019
- Rocky Lombardi: 2018 to 2020
- Theo Day: 2019 to 2020
- Payton Thorne: 2020 to 2022
- Noah Kim: 2020 to 2022
- Anthony Russo: 2021
- Katin Houser: 2022
Current Quarterback – Katin Houser
One standout quarterback from Michigan State who successfully transitioned to the NFL is Kirk Cousins. Cousins, who played for the Spartans from 2009 to 2011, displayed exceptional skills during his college career.
His strong arm, decision-making ability, and leadership qualities impressed NFL scouts, leading to his selection by the Washington Football Team (formerly known as the Redskins) in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Cousins enjoyed a successful NFL career, notably signing a lucrative contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018. His consistent play and ability to lead his team to the playoffs have established Cousins as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
Emerging College Stars
While not every quarterback to come out of Michigan State in the past decade has made it to the NFL, some have made significant contributions to the college football landscape.
Connor Cook is one such example. Cook, who played for the Spartans from 2012 to 2015, showcased his skills as a playmaker and led Michigan State to numerous victories, including a Big Ten Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Cook’s impressive college career positioned him as a highly sought-after prospect in the NFL, where he was drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
After bouncing around the practice squads of the Raiders, Panthers, Bengals, and Lions ; Connor eventually ended up in the XFL playing for the Houston Roughnecks in 2020 as backup to PJ Walker. The contract was later terminated in April of 2020.
Hall of Fame Recognition
When discussing quarterbacks from the past decade who have earned recognition in either the College or Professional Hall of Fame, one name stands out: Brian Hoyer. While Hoyer did not have a standout NFL career, his contributions to the Michigan State football program cannot be overlooked. Hoyer’s impressive college career included breaking numerous school records and leading the Spartans to a win in the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl, earning him induction into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Michigan State Legacy
Both the Big Ten and SEC conferences boast massive revenue and future NFL talent within college football, but it’s important to recognize that success extends beyond the individual accomplishments of quarterbacks. Throughout the past decade, Michigan State has been fortunate to have a talented and dedicated group of quarterbacks who have contributed to the team’s success both on and off the field.
As the Michigan State Spartans football team looks to the future, they will undoubtedly continue to produce talented quarterbacks who will leave their mark on the program. Whether it be through their achievements in the NFL or their induction into the College and Professional Hall of Fame, the legacy of these quarterbacks will continue to inspire future generations of Spartans.