There is no tenure when you play football for the University of Iowa or any other major college football program.
You get no free ride based on longevity. In order to win that starting position, you have to earn it and in order to keep it, you have to stay ahead of others competing for the same starting job.
From the sound bites emanating from spring drills in Iowa City, James Vandenberg has won that race to become the starting quarterback replacing Ricky Stanzi, who hopes to begin a career in the NFL.
But being the new leader of the Iowa offense has inherent risks.
It is not that James Vandenberg hasn’t been tested under fire—he has. When Ricky Stanzi went down with a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of the Northwestern game in November of 2009, Vandenberg, as a redshirt freshman, stepped into the pocket.
His first pass was picked off. That had to sting a bit.
Iowa lost that game against Northwestern in 2009, their first loss of the season.
But Vandenberg learned from his early miscues about what it takes to be a success as the Iowa quarterback.