Player Profile #94 – QB Ricky Stanzi

A three-year starter at the University of Iowa, Ricky Stanzi is the most experienced quarterback coming out of college football this season. That makes him an attractive prospect for teams looking for help at the position, and he seems to be situated in the second-tier of passers coming into the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Ohio native has shown improvement in each season that he’s been the starter for the Hawkeyes. If he can do that again coming into the NFL, then Stanzi could be a major prospect coming out this year. Plus, he’s certainly a player that he Chiefs would consider given his Iowa pedigree and the intangibles that he’s shown.

Here are the details on QB Ricky Stanzi.

FAMILY BUSINESS

Ricky Stanzi

Born: September 3, 1987 in Mentor, Ohio, an eastern suburb for Cleveland.

Family: Parents are Joe and Mary Jane Stanzi. Two younger brothers, Vinnie and Joey. Dad is a managing director at Thomas McDonald Partners, LLC, a financial planning firm in Cleveland.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, 4 ¼ inches.
  • Weight – 223 pounds.
  • Arms – 32 inches.
  • Hand – 10 inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.93 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.81 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.65 seconds.
  • Vertical jump – 32½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 2 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Stanzi graduated from Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Ohio, class of ’06. Lake Catholic is a co-ed college preparatory high school with just under 800 students.

In his senior season, Stanzi was named the Ohio Division III offensive player of the year for his performance in leading the Cougars. He was also first-team All-Ohio, all-district, all-county and all-conference. He was MVP in the district, county and conference levels. He was also named the MVP of the Ohio North-South All-Star Game.

He won three letters in football, and four letters in basketball.

FOOTBALL

2005 – Team captain in his senior season, threw for over 2,400 yards with a 61.5 percent completion percentage, 21 TD passes and 9 interceptions. He ran for 675 yards with 12 scores.

2004 – In his first year as the starting QB, Stanzi threw for 1,800 yards and 16 TDs, plus ran for 639 yards and six scores.

RECRUITING

Iowa, Miami of Ohio, Purdue and Toledo were the school that pursued Stanzi coming out of Lake Catholic. He visited Iowa, Miami and Purdue, eventually settling on Iowa

COLLEGE

In December, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplary Studies on a business track.

In his Iowa career, Stanzi was 26-9 as the starting quarterback, the second most victories for a QB in school history. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, as well as a semi-finalist for the Dave O’Brien Quarterback Award and the Maxwell Club Player of the Year Award.

2010 – (Captain) He started all 13 games, throwing for a career high 3,004 yards with 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Stanzi played every offensive snap in the Insight Bowl victory over Missouri, throwing for 200 yards and surviving 2 INTs. His best performance of the season came against Ball State when he threw for 288 yards and 3 TDs.

2009 – (Captain) Started 11 games, missing two because of a right ankle injury suffered on Nov. 7 against Northwestern. Ended up having surgery on that ankle, missed the final two regular season game. He came back for the Orange Bowl game against Georgia Tech, throwing for 231 yards and 2 TDs in a Tech victory. His best performance of the season came against Indiana when he threw for 337 yards and 5 touchdowns.

2008 – Played in 13 games and started 11, including the Hawkeyes Outback Bowl victory over South Carolina. His best performance of the season came against Minnesota when he threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-0 victory.

2007 – Played in two games (vs. Syracuse and Purdue) and did very little to earn more playing time.

2006 – Redshirt season, did not play.

 Year

 

G

 

S

 

Att.

 

Cmp.

 

%

 

Yards

Yds Per

Attempt

 

TD

 

INTs

2010

13

13

345

221

64.1

3,004

8.7

25

6

2009

11

11

304

171

56.3

2,417

7.9

17

15

2008

13

11

254

150

59.1

1,956

7.7

14

9

2007

2

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

2006

0

0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total

49

35

907

542

59.8

7,377

8.1

56

41

Per Game

x

x

18.5

11.1

59.8

150.6

8.1

.9

.8

Rushing – 160 rushes for minus-4 yards, 2 TDs.

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Good, not great athlete, with a strong arm and nice mobility. His height is just about perfect for what NFL teams are seeking these days. Fundamentally sound and has earned a reputation for clutch, fourth quarter play. Durable, missing just two games once he became starter. Those 35 starts in a major conference make him attractive to teams looking to cut the odds on a QB draft-pick flame out. Played in pro-style offense, so taking snaps under center is normal for him. Generally good mechanics in throwing the ball and his over the top motion with his size limits the number of passes that can be knocked down at the line of scrimmage. Leadership with the Hawkeyes was unquestioned.

Weaknesses – Doesn’t always display a good pocket presence, and that leads to him taking a few more big hits than teams would like to see. Arm strength is good, not great and that’s hurt even more by his inconsistent footwork in throwing the ball. He really needs a lot of help in putting together the entire throwing motion. Upper body is good, lower body is a mess. Because of that poor footwork, he’ll get happy feet in the huddle and that’s a constant problem in accuracy.

Analysis – One thing that NFL scouts like is the improvement he showed during the 2010 season. His completion percentage and TD passes went up, while his interceptions went down, way down. During the last few months he’s worked with Tom Martinez, who is Tom Brady’s QB guru and seems to have taken to his instruction on improving his fundamentals. His intangibles are very good, as he’s driven, hard working, willing to sacrifice and has a good grasp of offensive and defensive concepts. Among all the QBs coming out this year, he’s probably the best prepared prospect.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

From an AFC scout – “I’d take him ahead of (Ryan) Mallett and just about every other quarterback in this draft save (Cam) Newton and (Blaine) Gabbert. I think the upside on those two guys is far more than what I’ve seen from Stanzi. Coming out of Iowa, he’s a well prepared guy and he comes across in interviews as the nice combination of confidence without being real cocky.”

From an NFC scout – “He may be as good as he’ll ever be right now. He’s a gritty, gutty guy and you can’t ignore the fact he can get the guys in the huddle to perform late in the game with the final score in doubt. He understands what’s happening on the field and what he should do. What’s holding him back are some very poor fundamentals. If he can get that straightened out, he could get better. If not, he’s a backup QB.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

On improving as a player – “You have to be your biggest critic, and the best way to improve is to focus on improvement. That’s the only thing you can do: find the things you’re doing wrong, be very critical of yourself, and then go out and try to improve those things.”

What advantages he has with three years as a starter – “There are certain situations you feel more comfortable with and one of those is going through a full season, having to go through ups and downs, wins and losses, injuries, missing a couple guys, all those things. Having that experience is definitely a huge help, and playing in some tough ballgames and having winning seasons, it helps being around a good group. That’s all something you can build on.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

Pundits and amateur draftniks like to compare Stanzi at this point to Tom Brady of 11 years ago. Whether there’s any real truth to that, it seems like a stretch. Stanzi has the size that NFL teams would like to see from their young quarterbacks, but not the mobility. His intangibles add up to the type of player the Chiefs are interested in. His pedigree with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and the coach’s relationship with Scott Pioli puts Stanzi in play. It seems a young QB should be on the to-do list for Pioli/Haley this year. I’m willing to bet Ricky Stanzi is on their draft board.

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