Quarterback Payton had a record-setting season in his first year as the starting quarterback for the Spartans leading Michigan State to a top 10 CFP ranking and a 31-21 win over No. 12 Pitt in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien, and All-Big Ten candidate set the MSU single-season record for most TD passes with 27 and finished ranked third in total offense, passing yards per game. Earned Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of Week and Manning Award Quarterback of the Week honors. After only 17 games, he already ranks 10th among MSU’s all-time leaders in passing TDs and 15th in passing yards and completions. Coming out of high school Thorne was the top-ranked QB prospect in Illinois and was listed among the best pocket passers by ESPN.