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When offensive tackle Brandon Scherff opted to return to Iowa for his senior season instead of jumping to the NFL, he said he had several goals he still wanted to attain.

"I want to be the best offensive tackle in the nation," Scherff said this summer. "I want to be the best player I can possibly be."

Even though the first snap of his senior season is still two weeks away, Scherff is getting plenty of attention. On Thursday, the 6-foot-5, 320-pounder from Denison was named to USA TODAY Sports' preseason all-American team.

"I've got to get better at pass blocking, run blocking, you're always trying to get better each day," Scherff said. "Just working on technique and trying to play faster, play smarter, and bring the other guys along."

Scherff was one of four Big Ten players listed on the 25-member first team – 11 on offense, 11 on defense, one punter, one kicker and one return specialist. Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah and defensive end Randy Gregory and Michigan State defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun and punter Mike Sadler also made the first team.

Four more Big Ten players – Ohio State defensive linemen Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett, Michigan State defensive back Trae Waynes and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon were on the second team.

Here are USA TODAY Sports' preseason all-American teams:

First team

Offense

  • QB – Marcus Mariota, Oregon (junior)
  • RB – Todd Gurley, Georgia (junior)
  • RB – Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska (senior)
  • TE – Nick O'Leary, Florida State (senior)
  • WR – Antwan Goodley, Baylor (senior)
  • WR – Nelson Agholor, USC (junior)
  • OL – Andrus Peat, Stanford (junior)
  • OL – A.J. Cann, South Carolina (senior)
  • OL – Hroniss Grasu, Oregon (senior)
  • OL – Tre' Jackson, Florida State (senior)
  • OL – Brandon Scherff, Iowa (senior)

Defense

  • DL – Vic Beasley, Clemson (senior)
  • DL – Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State (junior)
  • DL – Leonard Williams, USC (junior)
  • DL – Randy Gregory, Nebraska (junior)
  • LB – Eric Striker, Oklahoma (junior)
  • LB – Ramik Wilson, Georgia (senior)
  • LB – Trey DePriest, Alabama (senior)
  • DB – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon (senior)
  • DB – Su'a Cravens, USC (sophomore)
  • DB – Landon Collins, Alabama (junior)
  • DB – Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech (sophomore)

Specialists

  • K – Roberto Aguayo, Florida State (sophomore)
  • P – Mike Sadler, Michigan State (senior)
  • RET – Ryan Switzer, North Carolina (sophomore

Second Team

Offense

  • QB – Jameis Winston, Florida State (sophomore)
  • RB – Mike Davis, South Carolina (junior)
  • RB – Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (junior)
  • TE – O.J. Howard, Alabama (sophomore)
  • WR – Tyler Lockett, Kansas State (senior)
  • WR – Rashad Greene, Florida State (senior)
  • OL – Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M (senior)
  • OL – Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech (junior)
  • OL – Reese Dismukes, Auburn (senior)
  • OL – Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi (sophomore
  • OL – Cam Erving, Florida State (senior)

Defense

  • DL – Joey Bosa, Ohio State (sophomore)
  • DL – Danny Shelton, Washington (senior)
  • DL – Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi (sophomore)
  • DL – Michael Bennett, Ohio State (senior)
  • LB – A.J. Tarpley, Stanford (senior)
  • LB – Denzel Perryman, Miami (Fla.) (senior)
  • LB – Myles Jack, UCLA (sophomore)
  • DB – Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida (sophomore)
  • DB – Jalen Ramsey, Florida State (sophomore)
  • DB – Cody Prewitt, Mississippi (senior)
  • DB – Trae Waynes, Michigan State (junior)

Specialists

  • K – Marshall Morgan, Georgia (junior)
  • P – Drew Kaser, Texas A&M (junior)
  • RET – Ty Montgomery, Stanford (senior)

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