Ricky Stanzi always had the size and intelligence that you want to see out of any quarterback. Measuring 6’4″ 220 pounds, he has great size to play the position. Although smaller quarterbacks have excelled (e.g. Drew Brees) it’s much more logical to have someone that can see over your big guys up front. From high school and up through college, he was always touted for his great leadership and excellent footwork in the pocket.
After his high school career ended in Mentor, Ohio, he was only rated a 3-star prospect. The University of Iowa extended a scholarship offer to Ricky and he decided to begin his college career as a Hawkeye. He was a redshirt freshmen in 2006 and only received 4 pass attempts in 2007 – one resulting in an interception. From there, his college career began to grow. Although he didn’t put up exceptional stats in 2008 and 2009, he did a great job at game management. A lot of people were down on him because of his very poor practices, but more times than not, he would show up big in games. His total stats for his college career were 907 attempts for 542 completions and 7,377 yards. He added 56 touchdowns to only 31 interceptions.
The young quarterback started to receive national recognition in 2009 when the Hawkeyes started out 9-0. He had an interesting game against Indiana during that season. In the third quarter of that game, he threw interceptions on four consecutive drives. Then, in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, he connected on a 92 yard pass for a touchdown and a 66 yard pass for a touchdown. He proceeded to take the team down the field for two more touchdowns to end the game. Although, he hasn’t shown consistency, he has definitely shown the mindset that you need at the NFL level. He is able to have a short-term memory and move on from previous mistakes quickly.
Ricky obtained three bowl game victories as the signal caller for Iowa. In 2010, Stanzi was 3rd in the nation for passing efficiency with an incredible 167.2 QB rating. He was able to toss 25 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions. Out of the 35 games that he started at Iowa, he was able to pull out a victory in 27 of them. He played in a pro-style offense during his tenure in college, and lined up under center about 80% of the time.
Going into the draft, no one had Stanzi at the top of their draft board. However, many were saying that he was the most NFL ready quarterback in the draft. Remember, this is the draft where Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert went 8th and 10th overall. Gabbert faced off against Stanzi in the 2010 Insight Bowl and Iowa squeaked out a victory in this game 27-24. As a side note, Gabbert did set a bowl record for his school with 434 passing yards.
Ricky Stanzi has always been a middle of the road quarterback in my eyes. He is very inconsistent, but can be a stellar performer in the right situation. With the proper coaching, which I don’t believe we possess, I think that he could be a starting NFL quarterback. In his scouting report, all of the weaknesses that everyone would point out could be easily rectified with a competent coaching staff and game-plan geared to his strengths. At this point in the season, you need to give the kid a shot. Even if he is no good, you need to see him play in a live game situation so that he can be properly evaluated for the future.