As he enters his second season as the full-time starting quarterback, Brian Lewerke continues to prepare the same way he did a year ago, but now the junior signal caller is using his game experiences in practices to help him prepare for the upcoming season. As a QB, you are a leader on any team and Lewerke may have had the best offseason as any.
Following the Green and White spring game, Lewerke said that while much of his preparation remains the same, he does treat certain situations in practice like they are gameday scenarios and believes that will help him a great deal this fall.
“Preparation-wise, it’s not much different, you have to prepare the same no matter what your position is,” he said. “For me, I was able to analyze situations more game-like during practices and use my game experience and pretend that everything going on in practice was a game and it kind of helps you develop yourself once the game kind of comes.”
After starting 0-for-3 in the spring game, Lewerke finished the day with 82 yards, while completing seven of his 12 pass attempts in a little more than a quarter of action.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said he was pleased with Lewerke’s performance in the spring game and felt he was clean and decisive with his throws and decision making.
“I thought Lewerke was very spot on, I think really the only thing that happened to him were a couple of drops,” he said. “It was a difficult situation out there with the wind and things of that nature, but I thought he was crisp, knew where he had to go with the ball and did the things he had to do.”
Lewerke has also continued to grow into more of a leadership role with the other quarterbacks on the #5 Michigan State roster as redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi is expected to be the backup this fall, while true freshman Theo Day is another up and coming quarterback on the roster.
After watching both Lombardi and Day throughout the spring, Lewerke said he believes both quarterbacks and improved greatly throughout the spring and also added that he sees leadership qualities in both of his counterparts.
“I think that they’ve both grown very well in knowing the offense,” he said. “I think both of them are natural leaders, I think Rocky is a guy that people definitely respect and look up to even in his young age. He’s done a great job, he’s a very vocal guy and is obviously a very tough and physical kid too. People respect that and his teammates respect that.”
Lombardi, who put together a strong spring session to put himself in position to be the backup quarterback this fall, said that he credits a lot of the progress he’s made to Lewerke helping him over the last two years.
“Brian’s great and he’s helped me a lot,” he said. “I don’t think I would be to the point where I am without him, so he’s done a fantastic job of getting me comfortable and getting me to know in a game situation what I’ve got to do to take our team to the next level. Not every play is the same and you do have to look at the situation and see if I have to get the guy out of bounds here or get to the sticks here. Brian has been great with that.”
With the spring session now in the books for the Spartans, Lewerke said that he feels he’s seen the offense make strides when it comes to taking care of the of the ball, but admitted he believes there is still work to be done in that department.
“I think we had to work through some things as far as holding onto the ball goes I think even today and during the spring,” he said. “That’s something that we still need to work on, but overall I think we came together and established our front five and establish the guys who are going to be big for us this year. I think we came together as an offense pretty well.”
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