IOWA CITY – Nathan Stanley is battling more than Tyler Wiegers, Ryan Boyle and Peyton Mansell as he tries to secure the starting quarterback’s position at Iowa.
The sophomore, who tops the Hawkeye depth chart heading into today’s noon public practice at Kinnick Stadium, also fights to create his own voice in the Iowa huddle.
As he continues to share first-team reps with Wiegers, Stanley continues to display why the strength of his arm has never been an issue.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Wisconsin native is working to become more vocal and to take greater control of the huddle, something that has remained a work in progress as the Hawkeyes have worked through the initial weeks of fall camp.
“I have a tendency to be a fairly quiet person. That’s my natural personality. I’m not necessarily considered a very outspoken individual by the people who know me,’’ Stanley said.
“I’m a competitor. I always have been, but here I am learning that I have to gain the respect of my teammates. It’s not a bad thing. It’s the way it works.’’
It’s all part of developing into the leader that Iowa quarterbacks coach Ken O’Keefe expects his starting quarterback to be.
“You want the quarterback to be ‘the’ guy that has the ear of the team in the huddle. That goes with the job description,’’ O’Keefe said. “One of the things we are looking for from all of our quarterbacks is that ability to lead.’’
Developing that ability is among the daily observations O’Keefe makes, extending beyond the skill areas where he seeks daily growth from each of the quarterbacks in the Iowa camp.
Wiegers said O’Keefe has brought a lot to the table in terms of expertise and knowledge as he works with the Hawkeyes.
“I think we all have learned so much from him since he arrived, just little detail-oriented things that can make a big difference,’’ Wiegers said. “He has taught us a lot about our footwork, about what to look for, all those types of things.’’
All are helping the Hawkeyes’ quarterbacks grow and improve, making strides which ultimately will lead to a determination about who will take the first snap from center in Iowa’s season opener against Wyoming three weeks from today.
For Stanley, that includes working to become a more vocal leader.
He finds himself offering teammates more compliments now than he did as he worked last fall or even in the spring.
“I’m getting more comfortable with them. They’re getting more comfortable with me,'' Stanley said. "It’s all part of the process.''