Scherff's return bolsters Hawkeyes for '14

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 6, 2014 at 11:08 pm •  Published: August 6, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Brandon Scherff garnered national attention in the most unlikely way imaginable — at least for an Iowa player.

Scherff went viral on Twitter.

Coach Kirk Ferentz doesn't even allow his players to use the social media site. But Hawkeyes strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle recently posted a video last month of Scherff performing three lifts of 443 pounds from his knees to his shoulders as teammates watched in amazement.

It was a 30-second glimpse into why many consider Scherff the best lineman in the country.

The 6-foot-5, 320-pound senior's blend of strength and athleticism is why he's expected to be the third Iowa tackle in six years to be taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Scherff was expected to be a first-rounder after last season, but he surprised many by returning to school.

"I thought he was one of the better players you could find in college football a year ago. And we expect him to be a better player this year, and I think he expects that from himself," Ferentz said. "He's already awfully good, but I think he's got a chance to be one of the best players to ever play here."

Those who know Scherff best aren't surprised at how good he's become. Physical gifts aside, he has an intense work ethic, too.

Scherff grew up in Denison, a small town in western Iowa, playing nearly every sport his high school offered.

He was an all-state baseball player, an all-conference basketball player and a state champion in the shot put. He even earned a varsity letter for tennis as a freshman, but football was always Scherff's future.

Scherff was so athletic that Denison used him at quarterback as a sophomore, and as a junior he caught five touchdown passes. He eventually grew into a star lineman, and by the start of 2012 he was Iowa's starting tackle.

Scherff broke his right fibula in a blowout loss to Penn State midway through that season, an injury that contributed to Iowa's late-year collapse. He bounced back in 2013, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches.

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