Ricky Stanzi (born September 3, 1987) is an American professional Canadian football quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at University of Iowa.

Early years

Originally from Kirtland, Ohio, Ricky attended Immaculate Conception School from Kindergarten to 8th Grade. Stanzi went to Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Ohio and was rated a 3 star recruit. [13] He accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Iowa to play quarterback. [2]

College career

Stanzi posted 26-9 record as starting quarterback (74%) and won all 3 bowls, which is only the 3rd Big 10 QB to have such honor. Additionally, Stanzi also had unprecedented success against ranked opponents winning all 3 games vs top 5 ranked teams and having a 6-3 record vs. ranked opponents in his 3-year career. Notable wins include going 3-0 over legendary coach Joe Paterno of Penn State and 3-0 over Kirk Cousins of Michigan State. [2]

Stanzi took over as starter at Iowa as a sophomore beginning in the 2008 season. He completed 150 passes for 1,956 yards with 14 TDs.

Midway through his junior campaign, he was replaced by James Vandenberg on November 7, 2009 against Northwestern after suffering a sprained right ankle. It was later confirmed that Stanzi had surgery on his ankle. [3] Stanzi returned at the conclusion of the season to lead Iowa to an Orange Bowl victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Stanzi ended up passing for 2,417 yards and 17 touchdowns in his junior season – completing 56.2 percent of his attempts.

Stanzi was 14–4 in his career as Iowa's starter going into his senior season, and in July 2010, Stanzi was named to the 2010 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and Manning Award watch lists. He was also a finalist for The 2010 Premier Player of College Football Trophy which is awarded based on fan votes. [14]

Stanzi returned to Iowa in 2010 with 9 touchdowns and no interceptions through his first four games. He completed 19-of-25 passes with three passing touchdowns on September 24, 2010.

One of Stanzi's most memorable moments of the 2010 season occurred on November 6 in a game against the Indiana Hoosiers, when Stanzi hooked up with Marvin McNutt for a 52-yard touchdown which put Iowa up 18–13 with 2:56 remaining in the game. Stanzi put up big numbers in the 2010 season with a 167.2 quarterback rating along with 22 touchdowns. Stanzi ranked third in the nation in passing efficiency.

College statistics

Year Team Attempts Completions Completion % Yards TDs INT
2006 Iowa
Redshirt
2007 Iowa 4 0 0.0% 0 0 0
2008 Iowa 254 150 59.1% 1,956 14 9
2009 Iowa 304 171 56.3% 2,417 17 15
2010 Iowa 345 221 64.1% 3,004 25 6
College Totals 907 542 59.8% 7,377 56 30

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad Wonderlic
6 ft 4 3 8 in
(1.94 m)
223 lb
(101 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.93 s 1.65 s 2.81 s 4.43 s 6.95 s 32 1 2 in
(0.83 m)
9 ft 2 in
(2.79 m)
30 [16]
All values from NFL Combine [7]

Kansas City Chiefs

Stanzi was selected with the 135th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Stanzi was activated for the first time in his NFL career for the Chiefs against the New England Patriots on November 21, 2011. At the end of the 2011 NFL season, Stanzi was second-string behind Kyle Orton.

Stanzi was expected to be the backup to Matt Cassel, and competed in the 2012 preseason with Brady Quinn, who was signed by the Chiefs on March 17, 2012. However, Quinn eventually won the number two spot.

Stanzi was released by the team on August 25, 2013. [22]

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed Stanzi off waivers on August 27, 2013. He was released on September 28 and re-signed on September 30. The Jaguars released Stanzi on August 29, 2014. [13]

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans signed Stanzi to their practice squad on December 16, 2014.

New York Giants

The New York Giants signed Stanzi off the Texans practice squad to a Reserve/Future contract on January 8, 2015. [13] On September 5, 2015, he was waived by the Giants. [13]

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions signed Stanzi to their practice squad on September 8, 2015. [13]

Calgary Stampeders

Stanzi participated in rookie minicamp on a tryout basis with the Cleveland Browns in 2016. [13] However, he went unsigned, and spent 2016 out of football. In April 2017, Stanzi participated in The Spring League, a minor league developmental football organization intended to provide a platform for free agents to be seen by scouts. [13] Following the Spring League games, Stanzi signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL on May 16, where he will compete to be the backup quarterback to Bo Levi Mitchell, a role which was held by fellow Iowa alumn Drew Tate the previous season. [13] During the 2 game CFL preseason, Stanzi completed 13 of 18 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, and added one rush for 14 yards. [13] Stanzi officially was named to the regular season active roster for the Stampeders on June 17.

On July 29, during a game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Stanzi made his professional regular season debut when he entered during garbage time of Calgary's 60–1 victory. Stanzi's first professional pass attempt was a completion to receiver Anthony Parker. Stanzi finished the game with one completion on two attempts, for 5 yards. [13] Stanzi finished the year with 4 completions on 8 attempts for 53 yards, no scores, and 2 interceptions, all of his playing time coming during garbage time. The Stampeders advanced to the 105th Grey Cup, but were defeated by the Toronto Argonauts. Stanzi's opposing quarterback during the Spring League, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who likewise spent 2017 as a CFL backup, was a member of the victorious Argonauts roster.