Iowa Quarterback Nate Stanley Has Come A Long Way Since Week One
Iowa City – Nate Stanley isn’t the hype man. He isn’t the superstitious type. He isn’t even the loudest guy in the huddle.
The thing is, that’s alright. He’s proving it doesn’t take an overly enthusiastic demeanor to play with passion. His game, especially against Ohio State, exemplified that skill truly does talk for itself and that a laid-back approach works in high pressure games.
“He’s just calm and collected. He’s not a big ‘rah-rah’ guy,” tight end and fellow sophomore Noah Fant said. “He’s telling us what we need to do. Doing his job and leading the huddle.”
He has grown significantly, putting the team in a position to win games. Wide receiver Nick Easley mentioned he’s not one to snowball after a bad play.
Stanley, despite his 6’5” build, isn’t the most menacing player in the Iowa offense, typically that is a fullback. He lets other guys handle the intense or excitement eliciting speeches. Stanley felt that wasn’t his way of doing things.
On an intensity spectrum, he characterized himself on the scales lower level.
Stanley’s humble approach to the game shows on the field but also in the way he speaks. The young quarterback has quickly adjusted to managing the games stresses.
“It’s tough sometimes when things don’t go your way, but the defense was playing great and the offensive line was playing great,” Stanley said about playing Ohio State. “That helps anyone calm down. That’s one thing I’ve tried to do all year is keep it even keel all game.”
Even on the big plays, those that electrify the crowd, Stanley keeps calm and shifts his focus to the next play. With Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard hanging on his leg, Stanley completed a bullet to TJ Hockenson for a score. Stanley, standing at the 25 yard line, celebrated and moved on.
Fant noted he’ll celebrate with the team after those big plays, but he quickly shifts the focus back to the game. His calm, focused approach might be the x-factor to the rapid ascent in performance lately.
During the heat of a game, Stanley’s words to his teammates remind of the objectives and are aimed to avoid thoughtless moments. He spoke on the specifics of his in-game encouraging words.
“We have to stay on the gas pedal,” he said might be used. “We can’t relax or take any plays off.”
Those reminders aren’t for a lack of use. He mentioned that not focusing could result in an opponent’s quick score. Stanley shoots to not allow a lapse in focus while he is on the field.
That can’t be bad for his development.
“He’s facilitating and putting balls on the money. A whole bunch of stuff you don’t see to often,” Fant said.
Fant obviously sees the improvement since he and Stanley have connected seven times for a share at the nation’s top spot in tight end touchdowns.
“The sky’s the limit for that guy,” Fant said.
Statistically he has flirted with nation’s best. Heading into a matchup with another top-ten team in Wisconsin, Stanley has thrown 22 touchdowns with only four interceptions. The next test against his home state Badgers will be Saturday at 2:30pm on ABC.