The New England Patriots ultimately managed to add a rookie quarterback after all once the NFL Draft concluded.
The Patriots agreed to terms with former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke on Sunday, as confirmed by agent Mike McCartney.
Add another signal-caller to the Patriots’ quarterback room. It was a bit of a surprise that they did not draft one, as Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer were the only two on the roster. It’s not a huge surprise that they entered the undrafted free agent market looking for one.
Lewerke showed flashes of talent at Michigan State, but his college career was underwhelming. His interception total rose every year he played, culminating in 17 touchdowns and 13 picks in his final season with the Spartans. He’s a far cry from some of the quarterbacks the Patriots were linked to, but he’s not expected to even be the backup anyway.
Michigan State has come under fire for their handling of a hit on quarterback Brian Lewerke during Saturday’s game, and their response to it won’t exactly satisfy the concerns of those who had them.
Lewerke took a knee to the head in Saturday’s game and appeared a bit shaken, but stayed in the game. He threw a pick-six on the very next play, and ultimately did not miss any time and did not even appear to be examined.
On Tuesday, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said that Lewerke simply told everyone on the sideline he was good to go and never went through the concussion protocol. Lewerke also said he was fine.
That doesn’t make it better. There is no way that anyone involved could have known in that moment that Lewerke would have no concussion issues. The hit to the head looked severe and someone should have put their foot down and forced Lewerke to get checked out as a precaution. The fact that Dantonio seems so unconcerned about it is a serious misstep, too.
Brian Lewerke threw a costly pick-six in Michigan State’s loss to Illinois on Saturday and probably should not have been in the game.
The Spartans were up 28-3 in the first half and blew the game, losing 37-34. With his Spartans up 31-24 and under 10 minutes left in the game, Lewerke rushed for three yards on a second down play. He was kneed in the head on the play and a teammate called to the sidelines for a replacement, but his gesture was ignored.
Lewerke remained in the game and threw an interception that was returned 76 yards for a touchdown on the following play, making it 31-30.
Lewerke stayed in the game on the ensuing possession, and the Spartans kicked a field goal to extend their lead to 34-30. They ended up losing 37-34 on an Illini touchdown with five seconds left.
The pick-six seemed to swing the game, and based on the hit to the head Lewerke took, Michigan State should be questioned for leaving him in the game.
The Michigan State Spartans suddenly have a very unsettled quarterback situation.
After three very iffy quarters, the Spartans opted to bench starter Brian Lewerke for the fourth quarter, bringing backup Rocky Lombardi in instead.
Though the Spartans were up 17-3 and the windy conditions weren’t ideal for a quarterback, Lewerke had been poor. He completed 11 of his 20 passes for only 87 yards and was picked off once, on his final play before being benched.
Lewerke injured his shoulder on Oct. 13 against Penn State and it has showed. He struggled against Michigan and sat out last week’s win over Purdue, in which Lombardi seemed to spark the offense. It’s entirely possible that Lewerke’s shoulder remains a factor, which begs the question of why Lombardi didn’t start this game in the first place.
The college football season is upon us, which should have fans pumped across the country. Though it will take a while to get a sense for the best 25 teams in the country, we do have our preseason top 25 entering the first full slate of games. Those teams will be relying on some key players all season. Here is a look at the most important player for each of the preseason’s top 25 teams.
1) Alabama — Tua Tagovailoa, QB
After taking over the second half of the national championship game, Tagovailoa showed what he can do. He is mobile, fearless, and has a big arm. He can give Alabama the kind of big-play ability at quarterback they haven’t seen for a while — possibly ever. He has no shortage of talent around him, much of it NFL-level, and he has already demonstrated skill and poise in the most pressure-filled situation. Expect him to have a solid year at minimum.
After a season in which five quarterbacks were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, it’s time for a new generation of signal-callers to emerge at the college level. There are a lot of rising stars who deserve attention, as well as some established veterans poised to take their place atop the rankings of collegiate quarterbacks.
Here are the 15 best quarterbacks in college football today.
15) Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech
After a freshman season that saw Jackson throw 20 touchdowns and nearly hit 3,000 yards, it’s fair to say that there’s plenty of room for growth for the sophomore. He’s a dual threat, as evidenced by his six rushing touchdowns, and he’s already been successful at the collegiate level. There’s no reason to think he won’t take another step forward in 2018, which could firmly establish him on the national scene.
Looking to end a three-game losing streak on Saturday against Northwestern, the Michigan State Spartans turned to redshirt freshman quarterback Brian Lewerke to start his first career game.
Taking over for fifth-year senior Tyler O’Connor, it didn’t take long for Lewerke to be introduced to the game of college football.
Midway through the second quarter, Lewerke was absolutely hammered by Northwestern defensive lineman Joe Gaziano in the endzone for a safety. But the hit was so brutal it probably should have been worth a few extra points.
With roughly 5:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, Lewerke and Michigan State trail Northwestern by a score of 54-37.
Lewerke had completed 12 of his 19 pass attempts for 99 yards and a touchdown before being replaced by O’Connor.