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Iowa quarterback Peyton Mansell is battling for the backup position behind starter Nate Stanley.

Iowa’s Nate Stanley touts backup quarterbacks’ development this spring

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ANSWER: Entering this spring, redshirt freshman quarterback Peyton Mansell backs up junior Nate Stanley. Freshman Spencer Petras, who enrolled in classes two months ago, ultimately will compete with Mansell for the backup job behind Stanley. It’s likely both will battle to replace Stanley beginning with the 2020 season.

Three practices in, Stanley was optimistic about the progress and poise both quarterbacks have displayed. Mansell ran opposing offenses last year on the scout team while former Iowa quarterbacks Tyler Wiegers and Ryan Boyle backed up Stanley.

“I think [Mansell has] done a great job in the offseason and so far in spring ball,” Stanley said. “Obviously it’s hard to get a really good grasp of the offense when you have to be a scout-team quarterback. But at the same time he’s done a great job coming in with a good attitude with a good attitude this spring and really trying to understand the playbook and the offense and he’s grown a lot in decision making, making decisions a lot quicker the same way that I have.”

Mansell, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 210 pounds, hails from Belton, Texas, where he completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 2,526 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior. He also rushed for 1,134 yards and 15 touchdowns.

“He’s pretty mobile, so he’s pretty quick,” Stanley said. “He’s got that ability to scramble. If he’s trouble, he can make plays with his feet.”

Petras (6-5, 227) signed with Iowa in December out of San Rafael, Calif. He completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 4,157 yards and 50 touchdowns with just 2 interceptions. He also rushed for 223 yards and 9 touchdowns.

“He came in with a great attitude,” Stanley said. “He’s coming in and worked extremely hard at trying to learn the offense and get used to the system, especially taking snaps under center. I know in high school he never took a snap under center. It’s a big change for him, but he’s worked extremely hard and came in with a great attitude.”

Stanley added that every quarterback has made strides in decision making and footwork this spring.

“A lot of stuff that I’ve improved on, you see it in [Mansell], too, and you’ll see it in Spencer and in Ryan [Schmidt],” Stanley said.

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