Iowa is getting a change under center for the 2020 season. For the first time in three seasons, there will be a quarterback battle in Iowa City.
Nate Stanley has been the signal caller for the Hawkeyes for the past three seasons, but with his eligibility expired, it’s time for Kirk Ferentz and the staff to start working towards finding a new quarterback. Obviously, there’s no rush to make a decision with spring practice and fall camp still ahead, but the Iowa head coach says he already has an idea of who the “clear No. 1 quarterback” is right now.
Rising redshirt freshman Spencer Petras will be the No. 1 guy on the depth chart heading into spring football, after serving as Stanley’s backup this season. He appeared in three games for the Hawkeyes in 2019, completing 6-of-10 passes for 25 yards and rushing for a touchdown.
Just because Petras is the favorite right now, however, doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to be handed the job come the start of the season.
“He’s going to have to earn it every day,” Ferentz said while meeting with reporters on Monday. The head coach also said Petras looked like a B1G quarterback during practice and had all the qualities to be successful on the field.
The biggest competitors for the starting job will likely be Alex Padilla and Deuce Hogan. Peyton Mansell was expected to be in the mix this offseason as well, but decided to transfer at the end of the 2019 season.
Stanley leaves the program after throwing for 2,951 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final season. He helped guide the Hawkeyes to a 10-3 season, which included a blowout win over USC in the Holiday Bowl.
For his career, Stanley was 3-0 in bowl games and never lost to Minnesota, Iowa State and Nebraska.
Petras will have some big shoes to fill for the 2020 season, but Ferentz seems confident in the quarterback’s ability. Now it’s up to the redshirt sophomore to prove it during the spring and fall.