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Ranking the Big Ten: Ricky Stanzi, No. 23

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ranking the Big Ten's top 30 players ...

Stanzi
No. 23

Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa, Jr., 6-4, 218

Why he's here -- Stanzi's emergence down the stretch last season helped Iowa to wins in six of its final seven games, including a thrashing of South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. He passed for 1,956 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a sophomore, and ranked fourth in the league in efficiency (134.8). Expectations are higher this year in Iowa City, and Stanzi hopes to establish himself as an elite Big Ten quarterback.

The potential is there. He has excellent size, a strong arm and the ability to make clutch plays, as he showed when rallying Iowa past Penn State on Nov. 8 at Kinnick Stadium. One Big Ten coach I talked to this spring likened Stanzi to a young Tom Brady.

He must improve his decision-making skills after committing several costly turnovers in losses to Northwestern and Illinois. But by all accounts Stanzi had a tremendous offseason and looks ready to lead an offense that loses Doak Walker Award winner Shonn Greene.

The Rundown

  • No. 23 -- Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa

  • No. 24 -- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

  • No. 25 -- Traye Simmons, CB, Minnesota

  • No. 26 -- Thaddeus Gibson, DE, Ohio State

  • No. 27 -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State

  • No. 28 -- Matt Mayberry, LB, Indiana

  • No. 29 -- Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

  • No. 30 -- Trevor Anderson, DE, Michigan State