College Football

Ricky Stanzi is Calgary Stampeders' No. 3 QB

Former Hawkeye is new to Canadian Football League

Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi hugs receiver Colin Sandeman after the Hawkeyes’ 27-24 Insight Bowl win over Missouri on Dec. 28, 2010, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. It was Stanzi’s last game as a Hawkeye. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi hugs receiver Colin Sandeman after the Hawkeyes’ 27-24 Insight Bowl win over Missouri on Dec. 28, 2010, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. It was Stanzi’s last game as a Hawkeye. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Ricky Stanzi continues to wait to throw his first pass in a professional football regular-season game, but now he does so in Canada.

Stanzi, whose last game at quarterback for Iowa was the Hawkeyes’ Insight Bowl win over Missouri, is the No. 3 quarterback for the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders.

Stanzi was signed by Calgary this spring. He had spent most of the last six years in the NFL, but had never played in a regular-season game. He was a fifth-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011, was waived by the Chiefs in August 2013, and was with the Jacksonville Jaguars for one season.

He then had practice squad stints with the Houston Texans, New York Giants and Detroit Lions. He was not with an NFL organization in 2016.


Stanzi is behind starter Bo Levi Mitchell, the CFL’s 2016 Most Outstanding Player, and Andrew Buckley. Stanzi beat out Mitchell Gale for the No. 3 job.

On June 11, Stanzi completed 5 of 6 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Stampeders’ final preseason game. They begin the regular season Friday night against the Ottawa Redblacks.

Coincidentally, former Iowa quarterback Drew Tate was Mitchell’s backup at Calgary last season. Tate is an 8-year CFL veteran. He was traded to Ottawa in February.

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Tate had been in the CFL’s concussion protocol since being on the wrong end of a helmet-to-helmet hit in a June 8 preseason game.

“I’ve had concussions before,” Tate told the Ottawa Citizen. “Same thing, it’s just a waiting game … that’s the way it goes.”

Tate practiced with the Redblacks on Monday. He is their No. 2 QB behind first-time CFL starter Trevor Harris.

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