Rocky Lombardi is transferring to Northern Illinois, the former Michigan State quarterback looking to bring the eye of the tiger to a likely starting opportunity in the Mid-American Conference.

The opening day starter for Michigan State in 2020, Lombardi had 1,090 passing yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions for the Spartans. Michigan State’s offense struggled this year, coming in No. 59 nationally in passing offense.

The issues with the offense went beyond Lombardi but his turnover issues didn’t help matters.

His departure was expedited by the emergence of freshman Payton Thorne. The former three-star quarterback looked promising in limited action, throwing for 325 yards with three touchdowns and an interception as a starter on Dec. 12 in a 39-24 loss at Penn State. That was Michigan State’s final game of the season.

This past season, the Huskies were 0-6 and while they didn’t necessarily struggle to score points or move the ball, will be looking at Lombardi as a steadying presence. He has two years of eligibility left.