Seven games into the season, that preseason outlook is less clear. That's not dismissing Scherff and Davis. It's including with them some Hawkeyes enjoying strong campaigns.
While offseason accolades are generated from what players have accomplished in the past, the actual awards and acknowledgements should go to those guys who performed during the fall. Of course, reputation factors into the equation.
With that in mind, let's rank the top five Iowa players in the running for our fictional Hawkeye Heisman heading into November:
5. Carl Davis, DT
It's not been a banner year for Iowa's 300-pounder in the middle. But it's not like he's chopped liver. Opponents read up on Big Carl and watched his impressive tape from last year. This season, they've frequently double-teamed him. He's absorbing those blockers and allowing others to make tackles.
4. Brandon Scherff, LT
The Iowa offensive line has struggled with consistency and has yet to reach the lofty expectations put forth for the unit. As a result, Scherff has received the brunt of the criticism because he's the name brand. The senior has fallen short of the invincibility created by hype train that left the station when he decided to return for his final year of college. A knee procedure last month certainly didn't help matters. However, like Davis, Scherff still is damn good. And he makes players around him better.
3. Drew Ott , DE
Ott is easily Iowa's most improved player since '13. The true junior from Nebraska leads the Big Ten in sacks (7.0) and is tied for second with 9.5 tackles for loss. Ott, who ran sprints for his high school track team, has kept his athleticism while adding strength. It's turned him into a disruptive force off the edge. Ott's motor is always running and he has excellent stamina.
2. Desmond King, CB
Some excellent cornerbacks have come through Iowa and went onto the NFL. King should be the next in line and has the potential to be the best of the bunch. He's not racking up gaudy statistics but his reputation leads to other teams avoiding him. He's as good of a tackler as anyone one the defense and is surprisingly physical for a guy who's generously listed at 5-11, 190.
1. Louis Trinca-Pasat, DT
LTP has delivered as Iowa's most consistent player on either side of the ball. The blocks he absorbs and the attention he requires helps free up Ott, the other ends - Nate Meier and Mike Hardy - and the linebackers. Trinca-Pasat's 45 tackles are the most among defensive linemen in the Big Ten. He ranks 13th in the conference with 6.5 tackles for loss.