Former MSU QB Rocky Lombardi transfers to Northern Illinois


Rocky Lombardi looks for the play call against Rutgers/ Photo Credit: Ian Gilmour WDBM

Nathan Stearns, Football Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING— Former Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi has found a new home.

Lombardi announced on Sunday that he will be transferring to Northern Illinois. He is the fourth MSU transfer that has committed to a new program.

Devontae Dobbs and Julian Barnett both transferred to Memphis on Dec. 21 and former linebacker Marcel Lewis transferred to Central Michigan on Dec. 20.

Lombardi struggled to gain a rhythm as the Spartans’ starting quarterback this year, only completing 53.5% of his passes to go along with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.  

After Lombardi injured his shoulder against Ohio State, Payton Thorne would gain the starting quarterback spot. After Thorne played well against Penn State, he, along with recent Temple transfer Anthony Russo, put themselves in prime position to compete for the starting quarterback position next season. 

Lombardi started in eight games as a Spartan and went 4-4, including a pair of wins over No. 13 Michigan and No. 8 Northwestern. He also threw for 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and 1,902 yards in his time at MSU. 

He also appeared in 21 overall games and ran for 166 yards. 

With Lombardi gone, the Spartans have six quarterbacks on the active roster including Thorne, Russo, Theo Day and Noah Kim.