Iowa junior offensive tackle Brandon Scherff made all of Hawkeye Nation smile – and maybe even dance – Monday when he announced on a local radio station in Denison that he would be back for his senior season at Iowa instead of entering the NFL Draft.
Scherff was thought to be a first-round draft pick by many NFL draft experts, but he elected to remain in Iowa City one more year and get paid next year.
“I am excited to say that I will be staying at the University of Iowa for my senior season in 2014,” Scherff said in a statement provided by the University of Iowa. “I am looking forward to the 2014 Outback Bowl and playing an outstanding opponent in LSU, and then working as hard as possible with my teammates to prepare for my senior year as a Hawkeye.”
Scherff, a native of Denison, started all 12 games this season and was recently named an all-Big Ten first-teamer by a vote of league coaches and the second-team by the media.
The Hawkeyes will return eight starters on offense next season, including Scherff, center Austin Blythe and guard Jordan Walsh on the offensive line. However, junior guard Andrew Donnal also has played significant snaps in an Iowa uniform and should take over for current senior Conor Boffeli next season.
Iowa went 8-4 this year and will play in the Outback Bowl against No. 16 LSU on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla., at Raymond James Stadium.
Scherff was injured against Penn State during the early stages of the 2012 season and it was no coincidence that Iowa ended up finishing 4-8. The Hawkeyes also lost Donnal for the season in the same game.