If the Spring is any indication, it is a tight battle for starting quarterback in Iowa City this year but any lead at all would be owned by junior Tyler Wiegers. He and sophomore Nate Stanley appear to be neck and neck but the majority of the first reps at the tail end of spring football were given to Wiegers. I do believe it is close, but I do believe they are leaning towards Wiegers at this point.
What does that mean? At this point it means nothing because they're going to let it drag on for at least through some of Fall camp. There's only benefits from naming the quarterback now as we all know so this shows that they are not comfortable with naming a starter at this juncture. That should tell you how close the battle is. And if it's going to go into camp, then Stanley still has an opportunity to win the job. And Wiegers still has an opportunity to maintain his slight lead or to separate even more.
Drew Cook has moved to tight end which surprised me. The quarterbacks room can get thin in a hurry if they're not careful. I'm also surprised because I felt Cook was the one that showed the most growth when considering the starting point in which he began. With Cook's departure, the quarterbacks other than Wiegers and Stanley are now Ryan Boyle and Peyton Mansell. Ryan Boyle spent most of last year as a wide receiver and Mansell has yet to step foot on campus to enroll. That's not solid depth when you consider that it shouldn't be considered a guarantee that both Stanley and Wiegers stick around. They both want the starting job and I don't know how comfortable or content they can be in Iowa City for having to sit two more seasons. Perhaps that's another reason why they're holding back from naming the starter.
With that all being said, I'm not sure Iowa moves Drew Cook to tight end without knowing the possible ramifications or having some assurances that the quarterback room would be just fine regardless in terms of depth. Or, who knows, the move could have been made without the quarterback room in mind and it was just a way to put Cook in a position to have a greater opportunity to make an impact and succeed.
I understand that Cook was far from making an impact or contributing at a quarterback. However, his positional move could possibly make for a thin quarterback room and just adds to the excess of tight ends at the same time.
All that aside, the real storyline is what happens with the battle between Nate Stanley and Tyler Wiegers in the Fall. That will decide and dictate the direction of a lot of us. If you would have asked me before the Spring who would be calling the shots, I would have said Nate Stanley without a doubt. After what we saw in the Spring, I do not have the same amount of confidence of that.
I know Wiegers doesn't have the arm of Stanley. He can't make all the throws while Stanley can. You can do more with play-calling and have more creativity and versatility with the offense with Stanley under center because he can do more with his arm. It needs to be more tailored and shrunk down with Wiegers because he doesn't have the same kind of arm talent and ability. But what Wiegers does have that Stanley does not is a comfort level and familiarity with the playbook, and an understanding of where the ball should go and when. He laps Stanley in this area and this seems to be what is causing the slight lead for Wiegers in the pecking order.