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Michigan State QB Rocky Lombardi Announces Transfer Decision

Rocky Lombardi in the tunnel before a game.

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 08: Quarterback Rocky Lombardi #12 of the Michigan State Spartans before the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Spartans 16-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi turned heads in mid-December, when he announced his intention to transfer and leave East Lansing behind.

Just nine days after his name appeared in the portal, the junior has found a new home.

In a tweet on Sunday afternoon, Lombardi announced that he will transfer to Northern Illinois. He shared a brief statement on his verbal commitment to the Huskies.

"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!"

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! #TheHardWaypic.twitter.com/b5j7bQ2o7x

— Rocky Lombardi (@rocky_lombardi) December 27, 2020

">Lombardi tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

Lombardi entered his name into the transfer portal on Dec. 18, despite starting the first six games for Michigan State this season. He issued a public statement on Christmas, explaining his reasons for leaving East Lansing.

Lombardi threw for 1,090 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2020 for the Spartans, but struggled to hold the starting job. After a few poor performances, head coach Mel Tucker turned the quarterback responsibilities over to first-year Payton Thorne.

The move left little room for Lombardi in East Lansing. He ended his career at Michigan State with a 47.9 completion percentage, 1,902 yards and 11 passing touchdowns.

The Spartans limped along to a 2-5 record in Tucker's first year at the helm. The Big Ten East competitors left plenty to build upon as they continue to develop the young and untested Thorne.

Lombardi will now join a Northern Illinois squad that will look to rebound from a dismal 2020 season. After the late MAC start, the Huskies struggled to gain any momentum. Second-year head coach Thomas Hammock led the group to an 0-6 record as they couldn't break through against any conference opponents. Redshirt-senior Ross Bowers played under center for the Huskies and played well despite the team's winless season.

Lombardi will look to turn things around in Dekalb when he arrives next season.