Addressing the media during his first official appearance of the 2020 season, Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker remained mum when asked about the team’s starting quarterback.

The Spartans, who open their season at home against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, are tasked with replacing three-year starter Brian Lewerke, who graduated and is now a National Football League free agent.

Redshirt junior Rocky Lombardi, a Clive, Iowa native, redshirt sophomore Theo Day and redshirt freshman Payton Thorne have been competing for the job.

Among the trio, Lombardi is the only one who has seen extensive experience, appearing in 16 games over the last two seasons, including three starts in 2018, and completing 75-of-175 passes (42.9 percent) for 812 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions.

Day, a 247Sports four-star recruit out of Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan, saw action in two games last fall, hitting on two-of-three passes (66.7 percent) for 12 yards.

Tucker is entering his first year at the helm in East Lansing, following a one-year stint in Boulder with the Colorado Buffaloes. Prior to that, he spent three seasons (2016-18) as the defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach for the Georgia Bulldogs under Kirby Smart.

Jay Johnson, Tucker’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, is also in his first season with the school, having come with the head coach from Colorado.