IOWA CITY — Brandon Scherff threw for 1,200 yards as a sophomore at Denison High School. Friday, he attempted to break an Iowa weight room record.
The lift and the weight are unclear, but Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle tweeted a picture of Scherff with the caption, “Scherff getting set to break a record!” Scherff is shown with a bar at his waist and four big plates on it.
Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg has seen tape of Scherff dropping back to pass.
“He can throw,” Vandenberg said. “He looks like he might be able to pop the ball in his hand.”
Credit someone at Denison, either his coach, Dave Wiebers, or his mom and dad, Cindy and Bob. Someone saw the big picture and suggested offensive line. Then again, when Iowa came calling during recruiting, it wasn’t because they saw a future quarterback.
“I was getting recruited here for O-line and I didn’t want to come in here and not know what I was doing,” Scherff said. “Thought it was a pretty good choice to move there. I liked the whole concept, just going out there and hitting people.”
The move appears to be paying off, from the weightroom success to Scherff’s ascension to the top spot at left tackle, which came open in early January when Riley Reiff passed on his senior season and declared for the NFL draft (he went No. 23 to the Detroit Lions).
The left tackle position at Iowa is a goldmine. You know the names, Robert Gallery, Bryan Bulaga and Reiff. The contracts are in the millions.
Again, someone saw the big picture and the light is on. Maybe it was Scherff himself, who declared his candidacy for left tackle last fall.
“Yes,” Scherff said when asked if he’d want the job after Iowa’s victory over Indiana. “Absolutely.”
The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder worked on changing his body this winter. He’s noticeably leaner, but he’s still 310.
“I cut some body fat, I’m eating better,” he said this spring. “Changing the body around. There are big shoes to fill at both tackle spots.”
A lot has been written about the new offense and how it’s affected the passing game. The O-line has changed, too. In the no-huddle, the playcalls have been stripped to numbers. The O-line is working on getting that down.
After spring, head coach Kirk Ferentz said Scherff and right tackle Brett Van Sloten had done a “pretty good job overall,” but there was still some ground to cover. Late last season, Ferentz said this about Scherff:
“We’re really high on Brandon,” Ferentz said. “I think he’s going to be a good player here. He’s done a lot of good things, but he’s moving up on that progression right now. He needs more time.”
It’s easy to crown all-Americans in May, but the Doyle tweet on the weightroom record, the commitment to diet, Scherff time seems to have arrived.