If the Hawkeyes are known for one thing, it's developing excellent offensive lineman that play in the NFL. Denison-Schleswig graduate Brandon Scherff fits that mold. The junior has become an anchor on the offensive line as he tries to come back from a devastating injury.
Last season, Iowa went into the Penn State game with a 4-2 record, but left with a 35-14 loss. Brandon Scherff left the game on a cart with a broken leg. Not coincidentally, the Hawkeyes went winless the rest of the season. Now the 315-pounder is back and healthy.
"I'm stronger and faster than I was last year," Scherff says. "It was frustrating but I was really motivated to get back on the field during spring ball. It was in the back of my head, what happened, but I just had to let that go and I've done that. It feels good to be back out here."
"Brandon's 100 percent and ready to go," said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. "He had a good spring but you can tell when players miss time, typically you can."
Scherff might have been the biggest high school quarterback in Iowa history, checking in at 250 pounds as a sophomore. By his senior year, he had moved to the line and was blowing up plays in the backfield. At Iowa, his job now is to protect those QB's and running backs.
"They trust you to do your job and we obviously trust them to do their job," said Scherff.
"Brandon's one of those guys, someone we're going to be counting on to kind of show the young guys the way, the guys that haven't played as much football," said Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz. "We were looking forward to getting him back on the field. Having him back since the spring has been really beneficial."
Scherff started 3 games as a redshirt freshman and earned a full-time starting job with the Hawkeyes as a sophomore. There are currently eight Iowa offensive lineman on NFL rosters and Scherff could join that club.
"Hopefully we continue to see some improvement from him, said Brian Ferentz.
"I think he was really starting to hit his stride last year and unfortunately he got de-railed. He'll go right back to square one and right back to work. But you couldn't ask for a guy with a better attitude and a better work ethic."
"We're still going to be the same running team we are, added Scherff. "We're going to be a downhill power team and we're going to have some fun this year."
Scherff has been on Iowa's leadership group for three seasons. On Friday at ten, we'll feature former Bishop Heelan running back Michael Malloy.
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