We’ve been in the dark all along about who Iowa’s starting quarterback could be this upcoming Saturday against Wyoming, but wonder no more. Iowa radio announcer Gary Dolphin has brought us into the light.
Nathan Stanley will be Iowa's starting QB Saturday.— Gary Dolphin (@GaryDolphin) August 28, 2017
After Kirk Ferentz burned Nathan Stanley’s redshirt last year during Week 1 against Miami (OH), many have assumed that the young quarterback would be this year’s starter. After Greg Davis’ departure, the coaching staff decided it would be best to have an open competition, and it turned out to be pretty close since, with Tyler Wiegers showing a vast improvement or Stanley showing that maybe he wasn’t as ahead of the curve as previously thought. Naming Stanley the starter does a couple things - it says that they think he has a higher ceiling than Wiegers, but it also says that they think his floor is as high as that of Wiegers, if not higher. The role of an Iowa quarterback has been known to become that of a “game manager,” and that position is often filled by someone who has a higher floor, so it would make sense to infer that Stanley fits the criteria.
One thing to think about is this - Dolph only specifies that Stanley will be the starting quarterback on Saturday. Does this mean the competition could open back up if he doesn’t perform against the Cowboys, or is this a case of reading too far into things? Once he’s named a starter, Ferentz has a history of sticking by his man through thick and thin, so you’d think Nathan Stanley has this job all but locked up. It’ll be interesting to see if the Hawks use Wiegers in any capacity this coming week if Stanley underperforms.
As a true freshman, Stanley beat out redshirt freshman Drew Cook and sophomore Tyler Wiegers to be the backup to C.J. Beathard last season. Stanley completed five of his nine passes for 62 yards, notably contributing to a touchdown drive against North Dakota State while Beathard was sidelined with an injury. He appeared in seven games, throwing a pass in five.