How do the Big Ten quarterback situations break down early on and well before spring football starts?
Big Ten East
7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Artur Sitkowski had a next-level bad freshman season – throwing for 1,158 yards and four touchdowns with 18 interceptions – but the 6-5, 225-pounder is still considered a good talent who just needs help from the other parts.
Johnathan Lewis was supposed to be the savior a few years ago, but his future appears to be at tight end. Rutgers signed a promising prospect in Cole Snyder, and it’s still looking to bring on other options, but for now, it’s Sitkowski.
Current Projected Starter: Artur Sitkowski, Soph.
– 2019 Rutgers Schedule Analysis
6. Maryland Terrapins
New head coach Mike Locksley was never getting Jalen Hurts, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t welcome in another option. However, as is, the Terp quarterback situation isn’t all that bad …
If everyone can get and stay healthy.
Tyrrell Pigrome might have taken off if Hurts was signed on, but for now, he’s a veteran with upside. He only threw for 561 yards and two scores with a pick, but he can run. Kasim Hill is the better option – starting for most of last year and throwing for 1,083 yards and nine scores with four picks – but he’s having horrible luck with knee injuries, suffering a torn ACL late last year.
Unless a grad transfer comes in …
Current Projected Starter: Tyrrell Pigrome, Jr.
– 2019 Maryland Schedule Analysis
5. Michigan State Spartans
Brian Lewerke has to be better. He completed 54% of his passes for 2,040 yards and eight touchdowns with 11 picks, and he couldn’t move the chains. He was hurt, and there’s a good chance he goes back to his 20 touchdown, seven-pick form of 2017, but now he has to prove it.
Rocky Lombardi was just okay and should get a look after seeing time late in the season and leading the way to a win over Purdue, but it’s Lewerke’s job if he’s 100%, with Lombardi and Theo Day fighting for the No. 2 spot.
Current Projected Starter: Brian Lewerke, Sr.
– 2019 Michigan State Schedule Analysis
4. Penn State Nittany Lions
The Nittany Lions were hoping beyond reasonable hope to get Justin Fields from Georgia, but that wasn’t happening. Now it’s up to Tommy Stevens to get the first look at taking over for Trace McSorley, but Sean Clifford will be right there after getting a little time in as a sophomore.
Clifford has the better passing skills, but Stevens has a huge arm and can run well. Ta’Quon Roberson was a terrific recruit who’ll likely redshirt, but will get his shot when he arrives.
But it’ll be Stevens vs. Clifford.
Current Projected Starter: Tommy Stevens, Sr.
– 2019 Penn State Schedule Analysis
3. Indiana Hoosiers
It’s a good situation. junior Peyton Ramsey is coming off a nice season, completing 66% of his passes for 2,875 yards and 19 scores. He threw 13 picks, bu the ran well, taking off for 354 yards and five touchdowns.
Michael Penix Jr. was the big recruit last year, and he looked solid when he got in a little work. He only played in three games – he has four years of eligibility remaining. Throw in Utah transfer Jack Tuttle, and this is a terrific situation.
Current Projected Starter: Peyton Ramsey, Jr.
– 2019 Indiana Schedule Analysis
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State is putting a whole lot of eggs in the Justin Fields Will Be Eligible basket.
Tate Martell is a Miami Hurricane. Dwayne Haskins will probably be a New York Giant. If Fields isn’t granted the waiver needed to play right away after transferring from Georgia, it’s uh-oh time.
Basically, Fields has to prove he should be eligible because he had to leave Georgia for his “health, safety and well being.” That’s going to take a bit of an argument, based around having a racial slur yelled at him by a former Bulldog baseball player.
Assume he’ll be eligible. But if he’s not, the Buckeyes have to rely on Chris Chugunov – a grad transfer from West Virginia who had a rough time in his short stint as a Mountaineer – or Matt Baldwin, a strong recruit last year who could get thrown to the wolves right away.
There’s no timetable on the Fields decision from the NCAA, but …
Current Projected Starter: Justin Fields, Soph.
– 2019 Ohio State Schedule Analysis
1. Michigan Wolverines
There was a wee bit of concern that Shea Patterson might have turned pro early, but … nah. He completed 65% of his passes for 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns and seven picks, with 273 rushing yards and two scores, turning into exactly what the Wolverine offense needed.
Dylan McCaffrey was the big recruit two years ago, but the sophomore will have to wait one more year to take over. He’s the No. 2 man as he recovers from a broken collarbone – but it’s Michigan. He’ll get every chance to win the gig.
Brandon Peters is still around, and there’s young talent in redshirt freshman Joe Milton and new recruit Cade McNamara providing a whole lot of depth and a whole lot of excellent options.
Current Projected Starter: Shea Patterson, Sr.
– 2019 Michigan Schedule Analysis