Iowa Football

Nate Stanley: A fine example of exemplary behavior

The Iowa QB leads your office rec team to the city title and washes everything in the coffee/kitchen area every night

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley: A fine example of exemplary behavior (The Gazette)
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley: A fine example of exemplary behavior (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — When they take off the helmets, wash off the eye black and unlace the cleats, they become themselves again.

Nate Stanley’s self seems pretty introverted and focused. The personality profile on Iowa’s second-year starting quarterback probably has “likes toast, sometimes with butter” written in it a couple of dozen times.

Stanley isn’t about getting “turnt” or “lit.”

At Big Ten media days this summer, he kind of famously now, told everyone that he’s only been in downtown Iowa City once. It was during his recruiting visit.

“The socialness of going downtown is something I don’t do a whole lot,” Stanley said. “I haven’t really been downtown. I like to hang out with some of my closer friends, grilling out or just hanging out.

“It’s never really been my scene. I just don’t think I’d have a good time.”

His hairstyle can best be described as “dry” and “on his head.” His fashion begins and ends with hoodies and sweats for the most part. That is most Iowa football players, by the way.

This summer, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was asked if he grew Stanley in a Petri dish.

“You can see what the attraction would be,” Ferentz said with a laugh. “You never know how people and families will handle recruiting. He couldn’t care less about that. That’s old school, if you will. He’s more worried about what he’s doing in the community.

“If you’re good, you don’t have to broadcast it.”

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Stanley could’ve taken Monday night off to watch his former teammate C.J. Beathard play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field against Aaron Rodgers.

Nope, no night off.

“I actually didn’t watch the game,” Stanley said. “I was here watching tape and I was doing some homework at home.”

Didn’t watch football? There were like five or six former Hawkeyes in that 49ers-Packers game.

“Studying for a quiz that I have later this week,” said Stanley, a health and human physiology major.

The camera cuts to Ferentz like in mockumentary style from “The Office.”

“I could have predicted that,” Ferentz said.

After the Hawkeyes’ 42-16 mashup of Indiana last Saturday, Ferentz said he’d love to see Stanley lighten up.

“He’s a guy who’s a perfectionist, so I think he’s starting to relax a little bit,” Ferentz said. “We encourage him. You’re a college football player, for crying out loud. Enjoy it a little bit. Everything’s starting to come around a little bit, and he should enjoy himself.”

After six TD passes against the Hoosiers, Stanley won the Walter Camp national offensive player of the week and Big Ten co-offensive player of the week.

On Wednesday, going into the No. 22 Hawkeyes’ (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) matchup with Maryland (4-2, 2-1) this Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, Stanley was the first Big Ten quarterback to be named the Davey O’Brien national quarterback of the week this season. On Thursday, Stanley was named the Manning Award quarterback of the week.

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“It’s cool to get all of those accolades and stuff, but right now, I think I’d rather just more so focus on what we need to do as a team,” Stanley said. “It might be a little awkward right now, but at the end of the year, it’s fun to reflect on that stuff.”

Stanley lives with linebacker Kristian Welch, a fellow Wisconsin native, and defensive lineman Austin Schulte.

“We fish a lot,” Stanley said. “We shoot trap a lot. Anything outside, really. We’ll grill with some of our other friends, like (kicker) Keith Duncan, (tight end) T.J. Hockenson, (linebacker) Nick Niemann, (linebacker) Nick Anderson on the weekends and play yard games or whatever.”

So, his mom doesn’t exactly have to plead with him to go outside and play. Donita Stanley still is keeping a watchful eye over her son.

After Stanley and the Hawkeyes stunned Ohio State, 55-24 at Kinnick last season, he celebrated with cheeseburger soup Donita made and brought to his apartment.

An attempt was made to get that cheeseburger soup recipe. Donita respectfully declined. Wisconsin people do not hand out family recipes. They guard them with samurai swords. (My wife has kept her recipe box since she was 10. Seriously. I even look at it, she buries three ninja stars in my chest before I even turn and run.)

What does this all say about Stanley, who, by the way, is on track to challenge Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins for first-team all-Big Ten quarterback? (Don’t get twisted about that, Haskins is way ahead in that race, for now.)

Stanley is the guy in the cubicle next door who you just can’t keep up with.

His TPS reports are neatly stacked and stapled. That desk is sooooo organized. He’s 15 minutes early for every meeting. When it comes time for promotion, he’s done so much for your office culture that you’re not even mad he got it and you didn’t.

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I flew a joke about “Nate Stanley, the office hero” on Twitter and Hawkeye Twitter responded with some very funny tweets.

I think Hawkeyes fans love their quarterback. I think they respect Stanley and know he’s exactly what Iowa needs.

So, the jokes come from a place of love and admiration. And they’re funny. (The tweets were curated by Gazette night sports editor Sam Paxton.)

And then ...

And ...

Character is who you are when no one is looking ...

Clearly, you guys love Nate Stanley.

But what if I told you Stanley has a dark side?

If any of the roommates’ parents brings food from home, that’s a community crockpot for everyone.

“If our parents bring stuff, it’s fair game,” Stanley said. “We’re pretty cool with each other about that.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.