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Iowa Hawkeyes: 2017 Quarterback Breakdown
- Updated: February 24, 2017
The Iowa Hawkeyes have a huge decision to make for the 2017 college football season. After two stellar years by C.J. Beathard, the Hawkeyes are in search of their next star quarterback. Beathard finished his career with 5,562 yards, 40 touchdown passes, and 19 interceptions. As a result, the next signal-caller will have plenty to aspire to next fall.
Like many teams, the Hawkeyes will be basically starting from scratch next season. However, they have a pair of quarterbacks that have been in the program for multiple years. Hopefully, the backups earned meaningful reps during practice.
Sophomore Nathan Stanley threw nine passes as a freshman. He earned the No. 2 spot behind Beathard last season. Yet, if Stanley opens the season as the starter, he might have more completions in the first quarter than he has in his career. Stanley completed five passes in five appearances last year. Still, the sky is the limit next season.
Stanley did not enroll at Iowa until June of 2016. By the first game of the season, he beat out Tyler Wiegers for the No. 2 quarterback role. Standing at 6-foot-5, 212 pounds, Stanley is a big quarterback with a strong arm. He also has three more years to play under Brian Ferentz’ offensive system. Therefore, the Hawkeyes may be tempted to go with the younger quarterback.
Prior to Stanley’s arrival, Wiegers seemed to be the heir apparent to Beathard. Wiegers earned the backup role in 2015 and completed 3 of 4 passes during the Hawkeyes’ Rose Bowl season. However, Wiegers was unable to hold off Stanley in the summer. Will he be able to claim the starting spot next fall? It may come down to how both players perform during spring practice.
In similar fashion to Stanley, Wiegers came into the Hawkeyes’ program as a 3-star recruit. He is also 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds going into his junior season. The Hawkeyes may even have plans to use both quarterbacks early-on. Last season, the Big Ten West champs, Wisconsin Badgers, used a two-quarterback system to earn a New Year’s Six Bowl bid. Are the Hawkeyes planning to do the same?
The rest of the quarterbacks on the roster have zero stats. Sophomores Drew Cook and Ryan Schmidt round out the spring practice rotation. It seems likely that Cook will earn the third-string spot barring any surprises. The Hawkeyes might just have that one x-factor entering this summer.
Freshman Peyton Mansell is a highly touted quarterback from Belton, Texas. Mansell presents a different dynamic for the Hawkeyes’ future. He is only listed at 6-foot-2, 189 pounds, while the rest of the guys bring a lot more size. Mansell is also the No. 15 dual-threat QB in the 2017 class. Will the Hawkeyes have a package for Mansell as a freshman?
Harrison has covered NFL, NBA, and CBB in the past. Earlier in his career, he was a national college football writer and Team writer for Husker Corner. Harrison also created the college football "Treat 16 Power Poll" some years back when college coaches relied on the running game.
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