Michigan State 2018 QB commit Theo Day's throws 'make your jaw drop'

Keith Dunlap
Special to the Detroit Free Press
Dearborn Divine Child's Theo Day runs against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood during this first half of Divine Child's 28-14 win on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at Divine Child.

The tension on Dearborn Divine Child’s campus was palpable as Theo Day readied for a shotgun snap near his own goal line on Friday. 

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood had trimmed Divine Child's lead to 21-14, and the Falcons faced third-and-11 from their own 12-yard line.   

Day, the senior quarterback and Michigan State commitment, rolled to his left with on-rushing Cranbrook defensive lineman right in his face, and he quickly showed why his future is as a Big Ten quarterback. 

Day bought  time by disbanding the lineman with a firm stiff-arm, then more time by running towards the sideline. While in a full sprint and with multiple defenders fast approaching, he cocked his arm and lofted a firm but accurate pass 15 yards down the field to open teammate Vincent Floro, who finished off the 30-yard gain.

First down Falcons. Cranbrook's surge was halted.  

“That was a great play and a lot of momentum for us,” Day said. 

Day made a lot of plays in Divine Child’s 28-14 victory on Friday. He was 13 of 20 passing for 160 yards and a touchdown and ran the ball 12 times for 70 yards.

Dearborn Divine Child's Theo Day passes against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood during the first half of Divine Child's 28-14 win on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at Divine Child.

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The 6-foot-5, 215-pound standout is a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports Composite, and is considered the No. 13 pro-style quarterback in the country. But he also has a dual-threat skill set, which he showcased Friday while throwing crisp passes in the pocket and on the run.

“His body type is very similar to (former MSU quarterback) Connor Cook, but his style of play is actually very comparable to current MSU QB Brian Lewerke,” Free Press recruiting contributor Sean Merriman said. “He has a strong arm with a nice touch on his ball. He will make some throws that will make your jaw drop, but every so often, he will also make a throw that makes you say ‘How did he miss that open man?’ He also has very long strides when he runs, which helps him escape pressure.”

The play Day made to Floro — and  the 21-yard throw he completed on third-and-8  to teammate and Michigan commitment Aidan Hutchinson in clock-draining time  —  shows his growth curve. 

“People talk about improvement in the summer and what have you done since last year, but I don’t know if a quarterback can improve in any measurable amount until you play games,” Divine Child head coach John Filiatraut said. “We’ve played four and he’s getting better.”

In his first three games, Day was 24 of 52 passing for 354 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 175 yards on 31 carries, and has shown a knack for being physical, lowering his shoulder and gaining extra yards.

Filiatraut said he isn’t worried about Day getting worn down taking hits while running the ball because he is bigger than most tacklers at the high school level.

Yet he admist  Day will have to learn slide and avoid contact in college. 

“I would think so," Filiatraut said, "but that will be up to Michigan State.” 


Day said sharpening his skill set during tense moments each game is what MSU coaches are looking for during his senior season.

“They just want to see me compete and they want my team go as far as we can,” Day said. “It’s definitely more mental. Every game you play, you get better.”

Day has a strong arm, but "tends to want to hold it and make a big play and stare some guys down," Filiatraut said.

“We are trying to get him to throw the short ball a little bit more,” Filiatraut said. “That’s progressing for him. ... Tonight, I thought he was really good at making the right reads and not forcing the ball.”