Eastern Michigan appears to have found its front-runner to replace outgoing quarterback Brogan Roback.
And it’s a familiar name to Metro Detroiters.
Tyler Wiegers, of Lake Orion and a former Detroit Country Day standout, announced Wednesday he is using his graduate transfer to move from Iowa to Eastern Michigan. He will be immediately eligible for the 2018 season.
“I’m excited to join the program here at Eastern Michigan and look forward to the opportunity,” Wiegers said in a statement. “Coach (Chris) Creighton is building something special and I cannot wait to make an impact.
“It’s great to be back home in Michigan, close to family, and have the chance to compete for playing time. I am very thankful and excited for the future.”
Wiegers was a three-star prospect coming out of high school, and was ranked the No. 6 prep quarterback coming out of Michigan, in composite rankings by 247Sports.com.
But at Iowa, he was stuck behind Jake Rudock in 2014 — before he transferred to Michigan — C.J. Beathard in 2015-16, and Nate Stanley this past season.
He saw action in six games, throwing a touchdown pass this season against Illinois.
At Country Day, he threw for 2,093 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior, and in his final two seasons combined, he threw for 4,558 yards and 46 touchdowns.
Wiegers, 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, is the 17th member of Eastern Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class, which has 13 players ranked by national services, including six three-star prospects.
Eastern Michigan was 7-6 in 2016 and made a rare bowl appearance, before slipping to 5-7 this past season. That said, the team probably was more talented in 2017, but was on the short end of several close calls —suffering a six-game losing streak, during which they lost all six games by a combined 23 points. Three of the losses were in overtime.
Roback threw for 2,895 yards and 19 touchdowns, and had a 59.9 percent completion percentage.
Isaac Stiebeling, a 6-4, 210-pound freshman from Fort Wayne, Ind., saw action late in the season, as he got an early audition for the job in 2018 — following Roback’s ankle injury. Stiebeling played three quarters against Ball State, and Creighton said he liked what he saw.
“There’s gonna be some competition there,” Creighton told The Detroit News recently. “I think we believe with the guys that are gonna be competing that we’re gonna have good quarterback play next year.”
Some quick-hit hockey news:
■ On Friday, Michigan will officially dedicate the ice at Yost Ice Arena in honor of longtime coach Red Berenson. It will be called Red Berenson Rink, following the retirement of Berenson after 33 seasons as head coach. The first 2,500 fans in attendance for the 6:30 face-off against Notre Dame will receive a Berenson Rink rally towel.
■ Western Michigan (11-8-1) remains the lone ranked team in the state, checking in at No. 12 in USCHO.com rankings released Tuesday. Also receiving votes were Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech and Michigan.
■ Oakland University is expecting to soon receive the results of its NHL-funded hockey-feasibility study, as the Golden Grizzlies consider adding men’s and women’s hockey.
Oakland is hosting its annual Mitten Toss during Friday night’s men’s basketball game against Northern Kentucky at the O’Rena. Fans are encouraged to bring lightly used or new mittens to the game, to be thrown onto the court at halftime. The mittens will be donated to The Baldwin Center, a nonprofit that serves the Pontiac community. The Mitten Toss is a longtime tradition of the Oakland swimming and diving program. Tip-off for Friday’s game is 9 p.m. The mittens will be presented to The Baldwin Center during Sunday’s game against Wright State; that game starts at 3.