Michigan State will have a new starter under center this fall.

With Rocky Lombardi leaving the program after the 2020 season, Payton Thorne and Temple transfer Anthony Russo are the two players battling for the starting job, a competition that began this spring and will continue through the summer and fall.

In a recent edition of The College Football Daily podcast, head coach Mel Tucker discussed the ongoing battle between Thorne and Russo and why he really likes what he’s seen from the quarterback position so far.

“It’s very healthy competition. I like that room,” Tucker said. “Coach (Jay) Johnson, our offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, is doing a phenomenal job. He played the position. He embodies everything we believe in. He’s very detail oriented, very efficient. He works with a sense of urgency. He cares quite a bit, connects with his players and he’s very fair. I feel like we’re going to have good play at the quarterback position. The position is wide open, to me and to our staff. We’re going to go through the summer. At some point during fall camp, I believe it will shake out. All of those guys in that quarterback room are getting an opportunity to show what they can do.”

During spring ball, Thorne appeared to have the slight edge on Russo. But the Temple transfer is coming off a shoulder injury during the 2020 season and is still new to the offensive system. He could be in a better spot by the time fall camp arrives.

Regardless of who wins the job, Tucker seems pretty pleased with what he’s seen from the quarterback position and it should be a much better situation than a year ago.