One of the more impressive freshmen from Saturday's scrimmage in Kinnick Stadium was actually true freshman quarterback Nate Stanley. Not only did he seem unrattled and appeared to have total command of the offense but he also showed off his tremendous arm talent. Stanley was accurate for the most part and was not afraid to push the ball down field and challenge the defensive backs.
The freshman connected on a few, including one to fellow freshman Devonte Young and a pair to wideout Adrian Falconer. There was also a few other chances he had downfield that he just narrowly missed the target or the pass was just not hauled in.
That arm talent has definitely be seen by his position coach as well.
"I'm extremely satisfied with him," quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Greg Davis said about his young pupil. "Physically he's a big guy, he's probably 6-foot-5. He's a good athlete. He was a heck of a basketball player and baseball player. He can make all the throws. Just from that standpoint, we're encouraged."
The way he has carried himself and absorbed everything and has yet to be shook was picked up by both Greg Davis and head coach Kirk Ferentz. They hope that steadiness is here to stay.
"And then what I've seen through three practices he has a maturity you hope quarterbacks have and he doesn't act like a freshman," Davis shared at Iowa football media day. "He comes to work everyday. He's bright. He's learning the offense. So we're extremely encouraged by his future."
"I'm trying to figure out if that's the way he is or if he just doesn't know what the heck is going on right now," Ferentz joked about Stanley's maturity, confidence, and steadiness. "It's one of those two things. I hope it's the first. He's been really good that way. That's important for a quarterback. He's trying to stay steady out there. So far so good."
Despite the strong positive first impressions Stanley has had on everyone, there's still a ways to go before he hits the spot they'd like for him to be at. Freshmen have a lot to learn before they're truly comfortable.
"Everything is going 100 miles an hour for him," fellow quarterback C.J. Beathard noted about Stanley's progression. "This is a tough offense to learn quickly. He has a strong arm and can make all the throws. He just has to catch up in other areas like any freshman would."
"There's a learning curve," quarterbacks coach Greg Davis pointed out. "If you talk to him, one of the first things he'd say is, 'Wow, it's really fast'. The game slows down when you break the huddle and you're totally comfortable with what you have to do and what your responsibilities are. And you're not worried about your guys, you're worried about their guys. All freshmen quarterbacks initially are just worried about their own guys. It takes a while. Growing up a coach's kid will help him."