Michigan State starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi transfers to NIU

Northern Illinois head coach Thomas Hammock (right) congratulates Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason after a game Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi announced via Twitter on Sunday that he is transferring to NIU.

“There are so many people I would like to thank for their help and support throughout my recruiting process. But without further delay, I would like to announce my commitment to NIU! #TheHardWay,” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Lombardi has played 22 games over three years for the Spartans, completing 159 of 332 passes for 1,902 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interception’s.

This season for the Spartans he played six games, going 84 for 157 for 1,090 yards, eight TDs and nine interceptions.

Ross Bowers wrapped up his senior year for the Huskies this season. The Cal transfer started the last two season for NIU, going 123 for 212 with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. He threw for 1,365 yards as the Huskies went 0-6.

Bowers had not announced whether he would return for one more year, as the NCAA announced that the 2020 season would not count toward eligibility for players.

The coaching staff and Thomas Hammock had also talked highly of true freshman quarterback Dustin Fletcher, who played sporadically this year in relief of Bowers, mostly running the ball after coming back from an injury.

On Christmas Day, Lombardi announced he was entering the transfer portal. At about the same time Christmas morning on Twitter, multiple NIU coaches including Hammock referred to a commitment that morning.

Lombardi was also a top-ranked wrestler in high school. His grandfather, Bob, is in the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Have a Question about this article?