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Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley is socializing with teammates more. There's a reason. Hear him explain: Mark Emmert, memmert@gannett.com

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Iowa senior quarterback Nate Stanley is one of 40 players considered early front-runners to be named the best in college football.

Stanley was named to the Walter Camp Player of Year preseason "watch list" Friday. He is one of 16 quarterbacks on the list. A quarterback has won the award in five of the past six years.

Stanley (6-foot-4, 243 pounds) passed for 2,852 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. His 52 career touchdowns rank fourth in program history and are the most by a Hawkeye over a two-year span. The Menomonie, Wisconsin, native also ranks ninth in career passing yards (5,351) and total offense (5,240).

Stanley was named to the Davey O’Brien Award and Maxwell Award watch lists earlier this summer.

The award is named after Walter Camp, who was a pioneer of American football.

Former Iowa quarterback Brad Banks (2002) and former defensive back Desmond King (2015) were finalists for the Walter Camp Award.

Ten semifinalists will be announced in mid-November and the winner will be announced Dec. 12.

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at memmert@registermedia.com or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.

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