The announcement last week that Iowa all-conference left tackle Brandon Scherff is returning to school will be blessing for the Hawkeyes offense next season.
Scherff was recently voted Hawkeye offensive MVP at the team banquet and his return means the Hawkeyes will welcome back four offensive lineman who has previous starting experience, including two other 2013 starters in Austin Blythe and Jordan Walsh. Andrew Donnal also started a handful of games in 2012 before going down with an injury. He is expected to start at a guard spot opposite of Walsh next year, while Blythe is the starting center.
Scherff sited the need to get better in all facets of the game as his primary reason to want to return.
Another reason probably involved the fact that Iowa – with a soft schedule and plenty of returners back – could be very much in the Big Ten title discussion next year.
The best part about Scherff’s decision is that he gave the story and initial announcement to his local radio station in Denison, Iowa.
Being a fan of old school, I can appreciate a small-town Iowa kid who knows where it all started.
Scherff has been one of my favorite active Hawkeyes – James Morris is the other – for the past three years.
It is really exciting to see him returning next year.
"I love playing here and I can improve myself as a player so much in the pass blocking, run blocking, and getting smarter, more technique, and finishing at the second level," Scherff said. "My family came up for the banquet (Sunday, Dec. 8); I sat down with coach Brian Ferentz and coach Kirk Ferentz and coach (Chris) Doyle. I knew I was going to stay -- that meeting.
"Coach Ferentz said we don't have to decide now, but he didn't know I had that decision made up in my mind. He said we could talk to Robert (Gallery), Reilly (Reiff), or other Hawkeyes that played here. I said, `Don't worry about that, I'm staying.' His smile was big. He was happy, I'm happy, my family is happy."
Gallery chose to return for his senior season and was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft the following season. Reiff chose to leave early as did Bryan Bulaga, and both also were first-round picks.
It was safe to say, Scherff would have likely been a first-round pick had he decided to forgo that final year, but the sky is the limit now as to how high in the 2015 draft he can go.