MSU QB’s Rocky Lombardi & Theo Day Coming Off A Great Spring
While Brian Lewerke is entering 2018 as the starting quarterback for a second straight season, #5 Michigan State got a glimpse of the depth chart behind the junior signal caller in redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardiand true freshman Theo Daythis spring.
In Michigan State’s annual Green and White Spring Game, Lombardi stole the show in the second half, throwing for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-22 passing to help lead the offense’s late win over the defense.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said that he felt both Lombardi and Day had strong showings on Saturday and felt that both proved that they are high-level college quarterbacks who have shown plenty of promise throughout the spring session.
“The other two guys had some great moments and had some moments that were tough,” he said. “That was the first time that Theo Day - and really Brian - to have an opportunity to play in the spring game in front of a crowd of people and on tv. They had some moments, I thought Rocky played pretty well as the game progressed on, I thought Theo came in the second half and threw some good balls, but just had to get the ball out a little quicker at times. It’s not a pass skill situation, it’s just a higher level of football being played than it is in high school. Remember that he should be going prom around today, so he's progressed to make too and he’s made a lot of progress. So both of those guys have the ability, they have good arms and they’re major college quarterbacks and you’re going to see them continue to develop.”
As a true freshman a season ago, Lombardi quickly worked his way up the depth chart, playing behind Lewerke and then senior quarterback Damion Terry, but leaves the spring as the favorite to win the backup quarterback job.
Lombardi said that he feels he has improved a lot throughout the spring and credits the regular snaps and increased playing time for helping make strides at the position.
“In a lot of ways am I better at quarterback,” he said. “With the experience that I’ve gotten, just running plays. Just like anything if you do it enough times, you get better at it, so through running all of those plays and running them over and over and over again I’ve definitely improved at almost perfecting some of them.”
Day, who saw more action in the second half of the spring game, completed five of his 10 pass attempts for 52 yards in his first live action as a Spartan quarterback.
For any true freshman playing in a spring game, the transition from playing high school football to playing in college in just a span of a few short months can be a difficult one, but Day said that he felt confident in his performance during the spring and added that he still feels that he has plenty to work on over the summer and fall.
“I think I did well this spring, I think I made good decisions and I think I threw the ball pretty well,” he said. “One of my biggest things is getting the ball out quick, especially when heat is coming, just check it down and doing all of that stuff. So that’s something I definitely want to work on in the summer and fall.”
Lewerke threw for 82 yards on 7-of-12 passing and after playing a little more than a quarter and a half, the junior signal caller sat out for the remainder of the Green and White game, paving the way for Lombardi and Day to finish Saturday’s game.
Having the opportunity to watch his counterparts from the sidelines, Lewerke said that he felt both Lombardi and Day became more comfortable as the game went on and their play showed it as the game went on.
“For the younger guys as the game goes on, they get a little more comfortable, it was Rocky’s first spring game,” he said. “Even for me, it was my first time doing something like this in a while, so it takes a little while to get comfortable.”
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