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Football notes: Who’s shining in bowl practices?

[ 0 ] December 23, 2013 |

ALL CLEAR: Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said all the regular roster players are expected to make the trip to Tampa, and no one should miss the game because of injuries.

“We had some injuries coming out of the last game, had some guys who rested for a couple weeks,” Ferentz said. “We’ve got some guys who still aren’t there, yet. But hopefully, they will be by the end of the week.”

NO SURPRISE: Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis wasn’t surprised that his old boss, Mack Brown, resigned as head coach at Texas earlier this month.

“He always said that he didn’t want to coach into his late 60s,” said Davis, who was the offensive coordinator with the Longhorns for 13 seasons from 1998 to 2010. “I wasn’t entirely surprised.”

MAKING AN IMPRESSION: One of the benefits of a bowl game are the extra practices, which give coaches a chance to work with players who were redshirted or didn’t get into the rotation during the season. Two players have stood out to Davis.

“LeShun Daniels has really done a good job,” Davis said. “And Derrick Willies is a guy we’re redshirting, but he had a real good bowl prep. Those two guys really jump out at me.”

Daniels, a true freshman, had 36 carries for 142 yards this season. Willies is a redshirt wide receiver from Rock Island, Ill.

SCHERFF RETURNS: Brandon Scherff’s sophomore season was cut short by injury. But he’s been a vital cog at left tackle all 12 games this season, playing on a line that allowed a Big Ten-low seven sacks in eight conference games.

“I think we’ve come a long ways,” Scherff said of Iowa’s offense. “Having another year in the offense, that really helps. You get the gameplan down quicker. We can always improve.”

Scherff’s decision to bypass the NFL and return for his senior year — something he and his parents, Cindy and Bob, wanted all along — will bolster Iowa’s offense in 2014.

“We’re just focusing on this game right here,” Scherff said of a Jan. 1 meeting with LSU in the Outback Bowl. “And when that game is over, we’ll turn the page and move on.”

Scherff was named a second-team All-American by Phil Steele’s national publication, while linebacker James Morris made the fourth team.

The Register’s Andrew Logue contributed to this report.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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