Former Michigan State QB to Start For Michigan Panthers on Sunday

Former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke will lead the Michigan Panthers of the UFL in their matchup against the D.C. Defenders on Sunday.
Michigan Panthers' Brian Lewerke (19) stands on the sideline during a game against the Birmingham
Michigan Panthers' Brian Lewerke (19) stands on the sideline during a game against the Birmingham / David Rodriguez Munoz / USA TODAY

It's already been more than four years since Brian Lewerke last played for Michigan State.

Now, the former Spartan quarterback is still in the state of Michigan but is making a name for himself with a new team.

On Sunday, Lewerke will make his first start for the Michigan Panthers of the United Football League, per UFL insider James Larsen. Michigan will face the D.C. Defenders in what will be its seventh game of the season.

Lewerke was signed by the Panthers almost a year ago before being released in March. He was re-signed 10 days later.

The former Spartan has not played a down for the Panthers this season and appeared in just one contest last year.

Lewerke joined the Panthers after a stint with the Seattle Sea Dragons of the XFL. That followed a short NFL career that entailed stops with the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Lewerke never played in an NFL game.

The Patriots signed Lewerke as an undrafted free agent in 2020.

Lewerke spent five years at Michigan State (four active). He was a three-year full-time starter for the Spartans. He started all 13 games for the program in the 2017 season, his sophomore campaign.

That season, Lewerke helped lead Michigan State to a 10-3 record and a victory in the Holiday Bowl. He won the MVP for that game as the Spartans handled Washington State 42-17. Lewerke was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention for that season.

The following year, Lewerke made 10 starts, helping lead the Spartans to a spot in the Redbox Bowl, where they fell to Oregon.

In his final season (2019) with Michigan State, Lewerke started all 13 games and would set a program record for total offense (3,442 total yards). He and the Spartans finished with a 7-6 record for a second consecutive year but defeated Wake Forest in the Pinstripe Bowl in what was Lewerke's final game as a Spartan. He was named the MVP of that game.

Lewerke and the Panthers will take on the Defenders at Audi Field in Washington D.C. on Sunday. The game is set to begin at 12 p.m. EST, 9 a.m. PST.

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Aidan Champion