Brandon Scherff named Big Ten's top offensive lineman
Marshal Yanda of the Baltimore Ravens is considered by many to be the best offensive lineman in the NFL. He played at Iowa. So did a couple of other current NFL starters in the offensive line: left tackle Reilly Reiff of the Detroit Lions and right tackle Bryan Bulaga of the Green Bay Packers.
"Those guys do it because they've got a lot of pride, they're competitive and they're going to find ways to block guys," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "At the end of the day that's what it's all about."
Ferentz thinks his senior left offensive tackle, Brandon Scherff, has the same characteristics and will likely join Reiff and Bulaga as a first-round NFL draft pick in April.
It's hard to imagine a Big Ten coach would argue.
Those coaches voted Scherff first team all-Big Ten for a second straight season Monday. Scherff was also a first-team selection by the media. And he was named the Big Ten's Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year. That award is named after all-Americans Dave Rimington of Nebraska and Orlando Pace of Ohio State.
"Brandon is a very special young person," Ferentz said. "He's had an outstanding career here."
The coaches voted senior defensive tackles Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat, senior linebacker Quinton Alston and junior center Austin Blythe on the second team. Blythe actually played the final seven games at guard. Davis and junior defensive end Drew Ott were on the media's second team.
Running back Mark Weisman was Iowa's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Scherff, from Denison, is the first Iowa player to earn first-team all-Big Ten honors in back-to-back seasons since defensive back Shaun Prater in 2010 and 2011.
After Scherff completes his college career in a bowl game that will be determined Sunday, he'll set his sights on preparing for the NFL draft. Ferentz thinks it will be a seamless transition.
"It's not about the combine stuff, although Brandon's got freakish strength and explosion," Ferentz said. "But a lot of guys can't carry that to the field. Brandon's got the ability to do that, too. He's a rare guy."
Scherff is also one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's top interior lineman. That award will be announced Dec. 11.