This year began with the glory of Scherff Week, when we learned so many things about our favorite behemoth offensive lineman, like:
- the fact that he could be the #1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, or
- the fact that there was actual video footage of him playing quarterback (!) in high school, or
- the idea that he could be the most fearsome punt returner the world had ever seen.
And we listened to the siren song of the Ballad of Brandon Scherff. Oh, and he found the time to hang clean FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY-THREE pounds, no big deal, because he's freakishly strong.
Then the season began and Scherff was mauling guys in run blocking and doing this to defenders foolish enough to blitz in his vicinity:
And, give or take a few missteps, that's pretty much what he continued to do all season long. A week ago, Scherff's strong play was rewarded with the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year Award from the Big Ten. This week he's been named to several All-America teams, including ones from the Walter Camp organization, USA Today, CBS Sports, and SB Nation. And now he's added to those honors with the biggest prize of them all for an offensive lineman: the Outland Trophy.
Congrats to Scherff for the big win and for being recognized as the best lineman in the country. Scherff becomes the fourth Iowa player to win the award, joining some pretty elite company: Robert Gallery (2003), Alex Karras (1957), and Cal Jones (1955). Four winners ties Iowa with Ohio State for the third-most in the history of the award, behind only Oklahoma (5) and Nebraska (9). Offensive Line U indeed.
One of the best compliments we can pay to Brandon Scherff is that we noticed him. At the highest level, offensive lineman sometimes operate somewhat anonymously, providing a virtual force field in pass protection to keep defenders at bay and allow quarterbacks to make the flashy plays that people notice, or opening holes for running backs to shoot through on their way to big plays. But Scherff was a guy you noticed and a guy you enjoyed watching -- it was a pleasure to watch him stonewall a pass rusher or pancake an unsuspecting defender to open up running room for Mark Weisman. So thanks for the memories, Brandon, and here's to many more to come -- starting in the TaxSlayer Bowl next month and continuing in the NFL for years to come.