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Iowa gets a head start on the Class of 2016.

Iowa's not quite done with their 2015 football recruiting class, but that isn't putting a stop to them getting a head-start on 2016 already.  Monday night Iowa added its first verbal commitment from that class when QB Nate Stanley pledged his college future to the Hawkeyes.

Stanley, a 6-4, 200 lb. pro-style passer from Menomonie, Wisconsin, chose Iowa over an offer from Pitt as well as reported interest from Michigan State, Stanford, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  Stanley, like all 2016 recruit, has not yet been rated by the scouting services, but seems likely to be in the 3* range, given his offer sheet.  He might have garnered a bit more recruiting attention this fall if he hadn't broken his hand during Menomonie's first game of the season.  That injury forced him to miss much of the regular season, but he did return in time to lead Menomonie to the Wisconsin state playoffs.

As best I can tell, Stanley has no publicly available video (his Hudl videos are listed as private), so it's basically impossible to analyze his skill set.  That said, a 6-4, 200 lb. pro-style passer is very much in line with the quarterbacks that Iowa has been recruiting for the last decade, so it seems like he ought to be a pretty good fit at Iowa.

In addition to some of the more common reasons cited by recruits for choosing Iowa (family atmosphere, good bond with the coaching staff during recruiting), Stanley also cited Iowa's emphasis for academics (having a pre-med student as your starting quarterback is certainly a pretty good endorsement for any recruits looking to pursue a more academically rigorous path) and proximity to home (275 miles away).  If being close to home is a key factor in his decision-making process, though, we might need to hope that Wisconsin doesn't get around to offering him before February 2016.

Adding a quarterback in the class of 2016 isn't a terribly surprising move for Iowa, given that their standard operating procedure for years has been to try and add one quarterback per recruiting class, to ensure adequate depth and to space things out in terms of eligibility.  But it also is a little surprising since Iowa added three high school quarterbacks in the class of 2015.  That creates what could be a very congested depth chart.

Eligibility Remaining
No. Player Year Ht/Wt. Position 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
16 C.J. Beathard SR(RS) 6-2/205 Quarterback
8 Tyler Wiegers SO(RS) 6-3/195 Quarterback
13 Justin Joyce JR(RS) 6-0/175 Quarterback
-- Jack Benaventi FR(RS) 6-6/210 Quarterback
-- Ryan Boyle FR(RS) 6-1/215 Quarterback
-- Drew Cook FR(RS) 6-5/218 Quarterback
-- Nate Stanley FR 6-4/200 Quarterback

Of course, it's also highly likely that one or more of these players ends up at a position that isn't quarterback.  I listed Benaventi, Boyle, and Cook (Iowa's three 2015 high school quarterback recruits) here because that's what they've been playing in high school and it's the position that they figure to start at in college.  But it's widely assumed that Cook will be moved to another position, with tight end being the most likely spot at this point.  It's also possible that Boyle ends up at a different position; he's a very good athlete with solid speed.  He's also the sort of player Iowa hasn't played at quarterback (for better or worse) for quite some time.  Still, Iowa figures to have a lot of quarterbacks on the roster come 2016 as things currently stand, which could make for some interesting quarterback competitions in the future.  Welcome aboard, Mr. Stanley.

BONUS: Stanley's sophomore Hudl page also lists him as a punter!