6 Senior Bowl QBs in 6 days: Ricky Stanzi

Iowa's Ricky Stanzi could benefit a lot from the Senior Bowl experience this week. He isn't a highly touted player, but his efficiency as a passer could show well in front of NFL scouts and coaches. We take a look at the final signal-caller in our series previewing the Senior Bowl quarterbacks.

Editor's note: VikingUpdate.com is evaluating the six Senior Bowl quarterbacks at practices next week and conducting interviews with them during the week. This is the fifth preview of in a six-part series looking at the Senior Bowl quarterbacks.

Of the six quarterbacks in this week's Senior Bowl practices, which start Monday, Iowa's Ricky Stanzi might be the least heralded, but he is still battling for draft position at the end of April.

While that position could be in the late rounds, Stanzi is coming to Mobile, Ala. with the right attitude – with appreciation for the opportunity and looking to prove himself in front of NFL scouts, coaches and general managers, and practicing with and against a field full of draft-worthy picks.

"I think the main thing I want to show (scouts) is work ethic," Stanzi told the News-Herald of Ohio, his home state. "I want to go in there and really seize the opportunity, you know squeeze it for all it's worth. I want to show them that I'm willing to work, do whatever I'm told and be the hardest-working guy that I can be out there and help the team and try to learn as much as possible in the short time that I am there."

After losses, Stanzi has taken the blame on himself, whether justified or not, and praises the teammates around him, making him appear like a leader well-versed in handling pressure off the field at least.

As a senior, the 6-4, 230-pounder had his best season, completing 221 of 345 passes (64.1 percent) for 3,004 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions and an impressive 157.63 rating on the college system.

When it comes to Senior Bowl quarterbacks, he is one of the least athletic as far as rushing – he didn't attempt more than six runs in any of his senior games – but he showed solid consistency and efficiency in the passing game. He had at least one touchdown pass in 21 straight starts, setting a school record, and ranked third in career touchdown passes (56), passing yards (7,377), pass attempts (907) and total offense (7,373) and ranked fourth in completions (542).

He has also proven to be a winner, posting a 26-9 record for Iowa as a starter, good enough to rank second in Hawkeyes history for career wins.

He became a starter in 2008 and increased the completions, attempts, passing yards, yards per attempt and touchdowns in each of his final three seasons.

While Stanzi and Hawkeyes finished their 2010 regular season with three straight losses before an Insight Bowl win over Missouri, he showed he can handle some of the best defenses in the nation. Against Wisconsin, he completed 25 of 37 passes for 258 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 31-30 loss on Oct. 23. That performance came in the middle of a three-game stretch in which he threw nine touchdowns and no interceptions and got wins against Michigan and Michigan State.

Stanzi was Iowa's Offensive MVP in 2010 and was one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the nation's top senior quarterback.

He is one of 12 Big Ten players and three Iowa Hawkeyes scheduled to play in the Senior Bowl, which could be the perfect forum for an efficient quarterback looking to increase his draft stock in the coming week.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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