Stanford Two Sport Star Officially Declares His Intention
STANFORD, Calif. -Stanford two sport star Toby Gerhart announced Friday he will forego his final year of collegiate eligibility in order to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.
Gerhart, who played in 38 career football games from 2006-09, had the option to return to Stanford as a fifth-year senior since he played in just one game as a sophomore in 2007 due to injury.
He started in 105 games in his three-year baseball career at Stanford in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons. He hit 16 career home runs with 69 RBIs as an outfielder, helping the Cardinal to the 2008 College World Series.
Gerhart has withdrawn from Stanford for the winter quarter in order to devote his time to prepare for NFL Combine in February.
“After careful thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from Stanford University for the winter quarter in order to fully devote my energies towards the pursuit of my dream of playing in the NFL,” said Gerhart. “While I certainly will miss patrolling left field on the Sunken Diamond or running through the gaping holes created by my O-linemen on the gridiron at Stanford Stadium, I will forever cherish the camaraderie, friendships, and memories that I forged here at Stanford with all my friends, teammates, and coaches.
“I want to give special thanks to Coach (Jim) Harbaugh for resurrecting the program, running backs coach Willie Taggart for making me the player I am today, and the Tunnel Workers Union (O-Line) for doing the dirty work which made my life easier. We’ve been through a lot of adversity during my time here, but I’m extremely proud to have been part of the class that brought Stanford football back to national prominence.
“Most of all, I wish to thank the entire student body, and Stanford fans everywhere, for the tremendous support and boundless enthusiasm they have shown us over the past four years.
“I have been blessed to have spent time at this special place and have seen first-hand how the Stanford family takes care of not just its own members, but the disadvantaged and underprivileged within our community as well. Because of that, I urge Stanford fans everywhere to join me in extending a helping hand to the devastated citizens of Haiti. They need our help now. Whether it’s a small donation of food, bottled water or medical supplies, a monetary gift to the United Nations or the Red Cross, or volunteering whatever aid you can provide, please do so. Keep all those affected and providing rescue in our thoughts and prayers.”
Gerhart is the third college two sport star to declare or this year’s NFL Draft. LSU’s Chad Jones‘ dad announced his intentions earlier this week, while Notre Dame Biletnikoff Award winner Golden Tate declared for the draft last month.
Gerhart, Jones and Tate have all been included in the Collegebaseball360.com Two Sport Reports throughout the fall.
Gerhart, who was the recipient of the 2009 Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back, rushed for a school-record 1,871 yards and a nation-leading 28 touchdowns this past season, helping the Cardinal to an 8-5 overall record and an appearance in the Brut Sun Bowl. He led the Pac-10 Conference and finished second nationally in rushing average with a 143.9 per game mark. Gerhart also led the all Football Bowl Subdivision players in scoring with 172 points (13.23 per game).
A consensus first team All-America selection by Associated Press, the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America, to name a few, Gerhart finished second to Alabama’s Mark Ingram in the Heisman Trophy balloting by just 28 points in the closest balloting in the 75 year history of the award. He was named the Pac-10 Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Stanford player to win the award since Troy Walters in 1999.
Gerhart ran for 100 or more yards in 11 of Stanford’s 13 games this season, including each of the last seven contests. He rushed for 200 yards on more on three occasions, against No. 24 Washington (200), No. 7 Oregon (career-high 223) and Notre Dame (205), becoming the first Stanford back to collect multiple 200-yard games in one season.
Gerhart ran for 100 yards or more in 20 of his final 26 career games, averaging 121.0 yards during that stretch.
His 28 rushing touchdowns led the nation and set new Stanford and Pac-10 single-season records. Gerhart finished the 2009 season with 172 total points, which was the seventh highest single-season mark among NCAA FBS scoring leaders.
The Norco, Calif., native finished his career with school-record 44 touchdowns (all rushing) and his 264 career points rank second on Stanford’s all-time career list. Gerhart rushed for two or more touchdowns 13 times in his career, including five games with three TDs or more.
Gerhart will participate in the NFL Combine, scheduled for Feb. 24-March 2 in Indianapolis. The 2010 NFL Draft is slated for Apr. 22-24 in New York City.
(Release & staff contributions)