One of the best stories in college football this year has to be Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. He was absolutely dominant all season.
If you like numbers Gerhart definitely caught your attention. The former Gatorade High School Player of the Year amassed 1736 yards and 26 touchdowns through 12 games this year. With only two games rushing for under 100 yards (82, 96), the senior running back is atop many Heisman lists.
And its not like he’s playing against cupcake defenses.
Versus USC's still a talented defense—despite their recent performances—Gerhart rumbled for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 6.1 ypc.
The week prior, Gerhart was even more impressive as he shredded Oregon’s stingy defense for 228 yards and three touchdowns.
Numbers and accolades aside, Gerhart is also coach favorite. Jim Harbaugh has essentially built the Stanford offense on the back of Toby Gerhart and he has carried it to an 8-4 record and contributed to their 36 points per game average—second best in the Pac 10. His hard-nosed grind-it-out style of play is contagious. But he is more than just grit.
He has a unique skill set similar to that of Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants. He has linebacker size (6'1," 235) and is deceptively fast. He is a fantastic athlete, especially for a guy his size, and it really shows in his body control, quick cutting ability, and burst through the hole.
Gerhart displays good footwork and is an overall fluid runner. He is also fantastic in pass protection and really shows great effort in that area. What scouts really like is his stamina and effectiveness through all four quarters. Coaches really like a running back that will run just as hard in the fourth quarter as he does in the first.
NFL teams are concerned Gerhart will opt to play baseball since he projects as a top prospect in that arena as well (yet another attribution to his natural athleticism). But if he sticks to the gridiron, Gerhart is an ideal prospect for a pro team looking to add toughness to their backfield and enhance their power rush attack.
This scouting report was written by Mark Dulgarian, Pac-10 Scout for Optimum Scouting. To find all of Optimum Scoutings reports and great content, check out www.NFLHouse.com , or contact Eric Galko, Director of Scouting, at EricG@nflhouse.com .