Notebook: Former Hawkeyes speak after Pro Day

BY DANNY PAYNE | MARCH 24, 2015 5:00 AM

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Monday was a different scene at Iowa’s new football complex. During the year, players are often focused on prepping for opponents and generally uninterested in talking with reporters. That wasn’t the case when various former Hawkeyes and now-NFL prospects met with the media following Iowa’s Pro Day.

People were happy and cheery for a variety of reasons — after all, they are going to have a chance to get paid (some in the seven-figure range) to play football soon, and the process getting there is something many students at Iowa would be envious of.

“It’s been fun; the best part is no school,” offensive lineman Brandon Scherff said. “We’ll do some workouts, me and Andrew [Donnal] and Tommy Gaul. We’ll go shoot guns or go fishing, one of the two.”

Of course, taking a break from shooting for Monday’s Pro Day is only a step toward those former Hawkeyes’ dreams of going to the NFL, and the consensus was generally positive.

Donnal said he increased his 225-pound bench-press reps from 17 at the NFL Combine last month. Scherff said wide receiver Damond Powell was “cruising” in his 40-yard dash. Carl Davis said he did 28 bench reps.

Even more, Donnal said he has a visit scheduled with the Denver Broncos and Davis with the Buffalo Bills as well as an individual workout in Iowa City with the Carolina Panthers.

“Everything went well,” Davis said. “… [Scherff and I] had a little contest with the hand size. He got me by a little bit — I had 11 [inches], but I think he had a little bit more than 11.”

Iowa program an aid

All 32 NFL teams had representatives at Iowa’s Pro Day, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Certain Hawkeyes have had bountiful careers in the league, most notably on the offensive and defensive lines. He’s just one of many, but former Hawkeye and current Baltimore Raven guard Marshal Yanda was rated the NFL’s top offensive lineman last year by ESPN.

This does nothing to hurt such guys as Davis, Donnal, Scherff, and defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat. Davis and Scherff could hear their names called in the first two rounds, while Donnal and Trinca-Pasat have a decent chance of getting drafted as well.

“Any Iowa guy coming out of Iowa and going into the league, they’re kind of like a second-year guy in the league already,” Trinca-Pasat said. “We’re taught technique here, we’re really disciplined; you don’t get that from a lot of other programs.”

Scherff, Davis have different opinions on NFL draft

Davis and Scherff are the only two former Hawkeyes that will potentially be at the NFL draft in Chicago in early May.

Scherff, who is projected as the No. 9 overall pick by CBS Sports, is a near-lock to be in attendance, and Davis is projected at the No. 52 spot. Their thoughts on attending the event shouldn’t surprise those familiar with the Iowa football team.

“I’m not fully decided on that, but I’m leaning toward it,” Scherff said. “My agent told me I should go, so you have to listen to him. Wanted to go back to Denison, but he said ‘You should probably go, it’d help you better.’ ”

Davis, one for the limelight, had another opinion. He wants to walk across the stage at the Auditorium Theater and pose for a picture with his new team’s jersey.

“I haven’t gotten my invitation yet to Chicago,” Davis said. “If I get the invitation, I’ll be there.”

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

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