January 2015

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11 B randon Scherff has lived a simple, wonderful life, but becoming the most famous person from Denison, Iowa, will take some doing, especially this time of year. Scherff, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive le tackle for the University of Iowa, won the 2014 Outland Trophy on Dec. 11 (Malcom Brown of Texas and Reese Dismukes of Auburn were also finalists). Still, Scherff concedes that he isn't the most famous native of Denison, a city of 8,000 people located in west central Iowa. Who is most famous? All you have to do is read the water tower in town. Under the word DENISON it says, "It's a Wonderful Life." "Donna Reed is from Denison," Scherff told a room of reporters Dec. 10 at the Disney Boardwalk Hotel in Orlando, Florida. "ere is a movie theater named aer her in town: e Donna Reed eatre." Reed, who passed away in 1986, starred in Frank Capra's 1946 Christmastime film favorite, "It's a Wonderful Life." While Reed is more prominent than Scherff on the silver screen, the latter has made a name for himself on college gridirons across the country. Scherff, the fourth Hawkeye to win the Outland Trophy, is the 22nd to become a consensus All- American. If it wasn't for the way Iowa high schools conduct their spring sports seasons, people might be talking about Scherff in the same breathe as Roger Federer instead of Marcus Mariota. As a freshman in high school, Scherff bounced from tennis practice to track practice to baseball practice aer school in the spring. He played No. 4 singles as a freshman, but the demands of three practices a day took its toll. "If he would have stayed with tennis, his sophomore year he would have been our No. 1 player," said Dave Wiebers, who coached Scherff in football at Denison. rough flag football and middle school, and until midway through his junior season of high school, Scherff was the Monarchs' starting quarterback. He went through a growth spurt between his sophomore and junior years of high school and University of Iowa coaches noticed. But Scherff certainly was not quarterback material at the next level. Wiebers knew Scherff was going to be big, but Denison had no one else on the roster who could throw, run, or exhibit Scherff 's athleticism.

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