July 30, 2014
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
CHICAGO — The clock expired yesterday on the 43rd annual dog-and-pony show known as Big Ten Football Media Days.
Hawkeye student-athletes Carl Davis, Brandon Scherff, Mark Weisman, and University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz will have at least a brief hiatus from handshakes, smiling for iPhones, and being interrogated by media.
The last two days at Hilton Chicago were highlighted by Scherff answering questions about his viral video showing him hang clean 443 pounds three times. The All-America left tackle shook off the publicity like a rookie preparing for his first practice.
“I haven’t done anything this year,” Scherff said. “My goal is to be the best player I can each game, and we’ll see what happens after that.”
Davis spent time fielding queries about what it is like clashing with Scherff every day in practice.
“Brandon is a spectacular athlete,” Davis said. “I feel he’s the best offensive lineman in the country right now, and I felt that last year. He’s a humble, blue collar guy who comes in every day and works his tail off and leads the way for this team.”
Media wondered what Weisman feels about running behind Scherff, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound Outland Award candidate.
“He’s a freak and it shows on the field, he’s not just a weight room guy,” Weisman said. “You will see him drive an opponent 10 yards back and throw them down. It’s fun to run behind a guy like that, and having such a good offensive line as a running back is what you dream of.”“He’s a freak and it shows on the field, he’s not just a weight room guy. You will see him drive an opponent 10 yards back and throw them down. It’s fun to run behind a guy like that, and having such a good offensive line as a running back is what you dream of.”Mark Weisman
UI running back
OK, so Scherff, Davis, and Weisman answered other questions Monday and Tuesday — many other questions and many of the same ones more than once. But the mileage the Hawkeye football program — and Scherff in particular — received from a 33-second video tweet last week from strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle created a lot of buzz in Chicago.
Aside from awkward photo shoots and redundant questions, Big Ten Football Media Days annually signifies one thing: the beginning of fall camp is near. That fact had Weisman amazed by some words he articulated.
“Sunday we start camp, and I can’t wait for that,” said Iowa’s returning rushing leader.
I can’t wait for that?
“I never thought I would say that in my life, but I’m excited, I really am. To see this team put in all this work and get ready for that first game. This is my last season and I want to make the best of it.”
In other words, it’s time to officially begin to sweat.
By the look of things Monday, answering question after question is tougher than you would think. Scherff spent a lengthy period in a room where air conditioning was silenced to keep the surroundings quiet. Because of that, he perspired so much that he needed to change his dress shirt. (Social media will never be privy to that video).
“With all these cameras, it means football is 33 days away,” Scherff said with a grin.
In five days, Davis, Scherff, and Weisman will trade their ties for helmets and sport coats for Nike cleats. They spent 48 hours saying all the right things in Chicago. The most significant comments made by Davis and Weisman didn’t take many words at all.
“A lot of work to do,” Weisman said.
“We have to get better,” said Davis.
Oh yeah, media day for the University of Iowa is Monday. Let the handshakes, smiles, and questions continue.