Tommy Stevens: 'I was tremendously excited when Coach (Mark) Dantonio told me they were offering me a scholarship.' (Photo courtesy of Allen Trieu)
Michigan State began implementing the zone-read into their offense last offseason and while Connor Cook ran it sparingly, it appears as though it could have a larger role in years to come. If Tommy Stevens were to come to East Lansing, he would be more than able to do that.
A 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior quarterback from Decatur Central in Indianapolis, Stevens was offered by the Spartans this week and his legs are just one of the qualities he has that makes him a high-level prospect.
"First of all, he's a tremendous competitor," said his head coach, Justin Dixson, "and obviously he has tremendous athletic ability and is a good football player. He has really good quickness and instincts. He's long and rangy. He's dynamic. He's shown all year he can make plays with his arm and his feet and he's also very intelligent. He's one of those guys that has 'it.'"
Stevens is big and athletic enough to project to other positions, but while he is open to it, his recent MVP performance at the Best of the Midwest Combine suggests that talk should be left on the backburner for now.
With additional offers from Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati, North Carolina State and others, his options are plentiful, but he also said he was thrilled to add the Spartans to that list.
“I was tremendously excited when Coach (Mark) Dantonio told me they were offering me a scholarship,” he told Spartan Digest’s Mike Wilson. “It’s a prestigious program and it’s an honor.”
A visit to Michigan State is planned for later this month. He also plans to visit Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State and Vanderbilt in the coming weeks. He does not have a decision date planned, but his coach knows whoever lands him is extremely fortunate.
“There are a lot of good high school players in Central Indiana, but not a lot of special ones,” Dixson said. “I think I've got a special one.”
As a junior, Stevens passed for 15 touchdowns and more than 1,600 yards. He added 10 more scores and more than 1,000 yards rushing.
Two more quarterbacks offered
The Spartans were busy at the quarterback position this week. Phoenix Pinnacle junior Brian Lewerke and Council Rock North (Pa.) sophomore Brandon McIlwain were both offered.
Lewerke, currently ranked as Scout’s No. 32 quarterback in the country, has eight offers, including in-state Arizona and Arizona State, Florida, Louisville and UCLA. He passed for 2,567 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior. He plans to visit East Lansing next month.
McIlwain has a big early offer list that also includes Auburn, Ohio State, Penn State, Clemson, Miami and others. He is a dual threat who has rushed for 1,309 yards and 21 touchdowns in his career and passed for 2,816 and 20 scores. He does not have a visit date set with the Spartans yet.
Ohio tackle offered
Westerville South (Ohio) offensive tackle Rob Dowdy recently added a Spartan offer. A 6-foot-5, 260-pound junior, Dowdy was named one of Scout’s top 50 prospects in the state.
His offer list now sits at 10 with Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisville, West Virginia and others also in pursuit. Dowdy was on a visit in East Lansing when the offer was extended. He says he may return for a spring practice.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan State recruiting column appears weekly at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.