Dec. 12, 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
ORLANDO — Bob and Cindy Scherff raised four children in Denison, Iowa, with a consistent message for all of them: Hard work pays off.
The third of their four children, Brandon, is proof. University of Iowa senior Brandon Scherff, the quarterback, turned tight end, turned offensive lineman, won the Outland Trophy last night, awarded to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman.
“Hard work does pay off,” his father Bob said Thursday at the Home Depot College Football Awards show. “Brandon has worked hard and you see tonight what happens. It’s a terrific feeling. Hard work pays off, that’s what we tried to teach all of our kids.”
Brandon, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive left tackle, won the Outland Trophy over finalists Malcom Brown of Texas and Reese Dismukes of Auburn. He joins Cal Jones (1955), Alex Karras (1957), and Robert Gallery (2003) as Hawkeye Outland winners.
“Everybody has a different talent level, but what is so rare is to have what Brandon has,” UI offensive line coach Brian Ferentz said. “You have an extreme talent level, you have an extreme physical ability, and then you have an extreme work ethic. When you get all three of those things, you get nights like tonight, and he deserves it.”
“Everybody has a different talent level, but what is so rare is to have what Brandon has. You have an extreme talent level, you have an extreme physical ability, and then you have an extreme work ethic. When you get all three of those things, you get nights like tonight, and he deserves it.”
UI offensive line coach Brian Ferentz
Bob Scherff is transportation supervisor and Cindy is a fifth grade teacher at Denison Community Schools. They raised four children: Justin (29), Kristen (26), Brandon (turns 23 on Dec. 26), and Megan (21).
“Our goal for all of them was to be a successful adult,” Cindy said.
According to Bob, Brandon always had a ball in his hand and always tried his best. When Bob got off work, he would spend time with his children, often taking Brandon to the school football field to retrieve punts, passes, and kicks.
“It was a lot of fun,” Bob recalls. “We played with all of our children and tried to do as much as we could with them. You have to make time.”
Cindy said they didn’t envision Brandon as a Division I football player until UI assistant coach Reese Morgan began recruiting him. Dave Wiebers, Brandon’s high school football coach, remembers when Morgan would stop by the school to chat.
Every day when Morgan arrived, he walked around the sidewalk before he entered school, Wiebers said. When a coach from a rival school showed up, he cut across the grass and came in the door.
“I said, ‘Bob, there are little things I picked up,'” Wiebers said.
In the end, the right thing for Brandon was the University of Iowa. He has started 25 consecutive games, was twice named first-team All-Big Ten, earned the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year this season, and has been named first-team All-America by four outlets.
“It feels great, but all the thanks to my coaches, family, and teammates for pushing me every day and not letting me get off track,” Scherff said.
If Scherff would have left for the NFL after his junior season, it wouldn’t have been a popular move with his parents.
“A degree and education is important,” Bob said. “If he would have left a year ago, he may never have gotten a degree finished. Now he has it finished and he can move on.”
The Hawkeyes will play one more football game with their most recent Outland Trophy winner in the lineup. Iowa and Tennessee tangle in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida.