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UM, MSU QBs make ESPN’s ‘future power rankings’ top 25

The Detroit News

The future of the quarterback position appears to be bright at both Michigan and Michigan State, according to ESPN.

The network released its “future power rankings” on Monday (pay site), listing the top 25 programs that it says has the “best outlook” through the next three seasons.

Michigan, led by returning starter Wilton Speight, checked in at No. 6, while Michigan State landed at No. 22.

“Michigan has options, which always bodes well at the quarterback position,” ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg wrote. “It’s possible Speight builds on a solid sophomore season and leads Michigan’s offense through the next two years.”

Brandon Peters, however, remains a name to watch, according to Rittenberg, as is Dylan McCaffrey.

“... It will get really interesting in 2018 as Brandon Peters — the No. 3 pocket passer in the 2016 class —will be ready to contribute. Peters’ winning the job sooner than later would not come as a surprise to those around the program. Michigan also signed Dylan McCaffrey, the No. 6 pocket passer in the 2017 class, who should benefit from a year in the system as he remains a bit raw.”

Brian Lewerke, who played in four games — including two starts — as a redshirt freshman — figures to the the frontrunner at Michigan State, and Rittenberg noted the Spartans’ history of churning out quality quarterbacks as reason for optimism.

“Remember, MSU has had a strong run of signal-callers under Mark Dantonio, from Brian Hoyer to Kirk Cousins to Connor Cook,” Rittenberg wrote. “It’s likely that Brian Lewerke leads MSU through most of the evaluation period. Dantonio named Lewerke the man to beat after the season, and the staff really likes his accuracy, quick release and overlooked escapability.”

Rittenberg also said Messiah deWeaver, who redshirted last season, figures to be in the mix. Michigan State also picked up a commitment Sunday night from Dearborn Divine Child quarterback Theo Day to beef up the 2018 class.

Oklahoma topped the quarterback rankings.