Iowa's Scherff wins Outland Trophy


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Rece Davis couldn’t help himself. As Brandon Scherff sauntered toward the stage at the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Thursday night in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Davis, one of the more-recognizable personalities employed at ESPN, cracked a grin.

This meant only one thing: A cheesy question was on the way.

“I know you’re an avid outdoorsman,” Davis began, “So which is the bigger thrill: the pancake block?

Or landing a deer, a goose — whatever it is you like to hunt. What’s the bigger thrill?”

Scherff smiled. “I have to say they’re both a thrill for me, you know?” he said. “I enjoy doing both. Whenever I get an opportunity to do them both, I do them to the best of my ability.”

The best of Scherff’s football ability earned him a slew of honors on Thursday. He became just the fourth Hawkeye to earn the Outland Trophy, an award annually given to college football’s best interior lineman.

Additionally, the senior was named a Walter Camp first-team All-American and received the same distinction from CBSSports.com and USA Today. He is just the 17th Hawkeye to earn Walter Camp first-team honors.

“I would like to thank Coach Kirk Ferentz, Brian Ferentz as my position coach, every member of the Iowa coaching staff, my parents and family, and especially my Hawkeye teammates,” Scherff said. “This award is the result of a lot of hard work by all of those people who are dedicated to the Iowa football program.”

Scherff joins Calvin Jones (1955), Alex Karras (1957), and Robert Gallery (2003) as the only Hawkeyes to win the Outland Trophy. Mike Devlin was a semifinalist in 1992.

The 6-5, 320-pound left tackle started all 12 games for Iowa this season, and he has started 25-straight since he missed the final five games of the 2012 with a leg injury. Scherff was an offensive team captain this year, and was named Most Valuable Player at Iowa’s recent awards banquet.

“We are proud of Brandon and thank him for being a great teammate and leader of our football program,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a release. “He’s played his best football as a senior. Brandon is clearly one of the most exceptional players I have had the pleasure of working with during my 25 years at Iowa and six in the NFL. He comes from a great family that knows about hard work and dedication.

“… Being named to the first All-America team is an outstanding accomplishment. Being recognized on the first team of these selected All-America teams is a tribute to how well he’s known and respected for his play.”

When Scherff decided he would return to Iowa for his senior season, he did so for a number of reasons. He wanted to help Iowa contend for a Big Ten title, but he also wanted to further establish himself as one of the nation’s best offensive lineman.

On Thursday night, that goal became a reality for the Denison, Iowa, native.

“Coming to Iowa, with its offensive-line tradition, sending people to the NFL, and being known as tough, physical guys, that’s what I wanted to be known for,” Scherff said. “That’s what us five up front all wanted to be known for.”

Follow @codygoodwin on Twitter for updates, news, and analysis about the Iowa football team.

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