Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, May 4, 2015

The decision by Brandon Scherff to return for his senior season paid off-handsomely, as he was the No. 5 overall pick.

He won the Outland Trophy that goes to the nation's best interior lineman. He became the Hawkeyes' 21st consensus All-American. And Thursday, he became the fifth player in the history of Iowa football to get drafted in the top five. The guy is gonna be a stud.

"I set goals for myself that (offensive line coach) Brian Ferentz and coach (Reese) Morgan told me to set for myself, and I accomplished some of those and I'm happy," Scherff said. "It's time to set some new goals for myself now, and try to reach those."


OK, Bleacher Report already has out a 2016 mock NFL draft. (Yes, I was stunned, too.) And Ohio State DE Joey Bosa is No. 1 overall, OSU QB Cardale Jones is No. 8, while Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg is tabbed No. 10 overall. Keep this in mind: No Big Ten quarterback has gone in the first round since 1995, when Kerry Collins went No. 5.


While looking ahead, Michigan State?s 2016 senior class of players is impressive. In fact, Mike Griffith of thinks it?s the school?s best since 1966.

The senior class talent is such that Michigan State is a legitimate national championship contender. The team looks to have more talent than any Spartans' squad dating back to the 1966 national champions. Griffith notes that Michigan State had four players from that glorious team drafted in the top eight of the 1967 draft - No. 1 Bubba Smith, No. 2 Clint Jones, No. 5 George Webster and No. 8 Gene Washington. The 2015 Spartans won't match that lofty draft selection order, but it's not a stretch to see three players going in the first round of the 2016 draft and maybe even four. Hearing this just makes me more eager for that Michigan State at Ohio State game.


Well, I can?t say I was shocked to see Michigan?s Frank Clark get drafted despite being booted from the team last fall after a domestic violence incident. But I was surprised to see him go in the second round, where Seattle tabbed him.

"I believe I was wrong, and I am sorry," Clark said. "I put myself in a position I shouldn't have been in. I'm not saying I did anything as far as putting my hands on a woman, because the case played out and reflected that. But I do apologize to anyone it affected. Anyone who had to spend time with this. No one should have to go through this, whether you're the person looking at it or the woman in the midst of it. No one should have to go through that.

"No woman should have to go through anything like it. No woman should ever have a man put his hands (on her)."

*** has a good look behind the numbers at Nebraska in the NFL draft. The Huskers have had 349 players selected in the NFL draft, including two with the No. 1 pick - Sam Francis in 1937 and Irving Fryar in 1984. This is a rich vein of info. Enjoy!


For the first time ever, Illinois failed to have a player drafted in back-to-back drafts. Here is my guarantee: The Illini will have a draft pick in 2016.


Wisconsin recently closed its spring drills, where Paul Chryst continues to put his stamp on the program. There is a lot of newness in Madison. But there is a big holdover: defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Smart move by Chryst to keep Aranda, aka the ?Professor.?

?Guys I know and trust had worked with Dave and known Dave,? Chryst said. ?Once I had a chance to talk to players here and how they felt about him, it was a no-brainer for me.?


How did Rutgers stack up with its Big Ten peers in the 2015 draft?


It was a HECK of an NFL draft for Minnesota, which had four players selected for the first time since 2006. Yet another sign of how far Jerry Kill has taken this program.

Picked were TE Maxx Williams, LB Damien Wilson, RB David Cobb and S Cedric Thompson.


Good debate on between Zach Osterman (IU beat writer) and Nathan Baird (Purdue beat writer) on which school will be better next year.

I have to give the nod to the Hoosiers, who will have a huge edge at the point with Yogi Ferrell. And James Blackmon and Troy Williams are future NBA players. Don?t forget about incoming freshman big man Thomas Bryant, a monster who will help on the glass. Plus, I think Indiana will get better on defense with experience.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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