Iowa quarterbacks now battle to back up Nathan Stanley
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Who will replace Tyler Wiegers as Iowa’s backup quarterback?
ANSWER: With Tyler Wiegers having graduated from Iowa in December and now enrolled at Eastern Michigan as a graduate transfer, the race is wide open to be Nathan Stanley’s backup.
Incoming junior Ryan Boyle naturally would be best positioned to take the No. 2 slot. He redshirted in 2015 but served as the emergency No. 3 quarterback in the event C.J. Beathard and Wiegers both got injured. Boyle moved to wide receiver in 2016 but returned to quarterback last season.
But I’m not sure Boyle will win that job. Both he and Wiegers had a crack at the backup slot entering the 2016 season — before Boyle shifted to receiver — but Nate Stanley became Beathard’s understudy. It was a wide-open competition last spring among Stanley, Wiegers, Boyle and Drew Cook. By the end of camp, Cook shifted to tight end. Stanley and Wiegers emerged as the co-No. 1 quarterbacks. That position wasn’t decided until the final week of training camp.
Freshman Peyton Mansell served as the scout-team quarterback last season as he redshirted. Iowa signed 3-star quarterback Spencer Petras from Marin, Calif., and Petras will enroll this month. That puts them both on somewhat equal footing going into winter workouts and spring practice. Mansell is more mobile while Petras has a monster arm. Mansell obviously has an edge after being on campus for a full fall campaign.
Based on what Iowa has done in the past, whoever has the best combination of mastery of the offense and upside will take the coveted No. 2-team reps. Stanley has two seasons of eligibility left, and if Mansell or Petras develops into the primary backup, there’s a two-year gap on the field. That’s the optimum scenario for the program. Unless, of course, you have a 2019 quarterback coming in who you like better.
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