Earlier this week, FOX Sports host Colin Cowherd spent some time looking at Big Ten schedules when coming up with his College Football Playoff picks for 2018. While he did not pick Iowa to makes the final four in 2018, he did offer some high praise for one Hawkeye.

“Wisconsin goes to Iowa, who has the best quarterback … maybe in the country” Cowherd said in the segment. “Watch that kid be a top-10 quarterback: Stanley.”

“That kid Stanley” is returning starter, junior QB Nate Stanley.


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Statistically, Stanley had a solid sophomore season (196-of-351 for 2,437 yards and 26 touchdowns), but did not post stats that would necessarily generate “top-10 in the country” buzz. His completion was 55.8 percent, while elite quarterbacks tend to top 60 percent at the minimum. Stanley also only threw for more than 300 yards on one occasion. Stat lines in the range of 41-247 yards aren’t going to turn many heads on a national scale, but something has clearly captured Cowherd’s attention.

If Stanley takes a big Year 3 step in development and performance, the Hawkeyes could be in for a fun season. Perhaps they could even outplay Cowherd’s expectations for them.

The Cowherd segment can be viewed below. The mention of Stanley comes after the 1:00 mark in the video.