Gerhart Makes His Case For Heisman Consideration
By Collegebaseball360.com Editor Sean Stires
Palo Alto, CA- Stanford’s Toby Gerhart and Notre Dame’s Golden Tate are both college baseball players, but Saturday night the duo showed why they are each college football stars in Stanford’s 45-38 win over Notre Dame.
Gerhart and Tate combined for 424 yards of offense and seven touchdowns in a contest that was decided on the game’s final possession when a Jimmy Clausen pass fell incomplete in the end zone as the clock hit zero.
Gerhart rumbled his was to 205 yards and touchdown runs of 4, 10 and 4 yards, and he also threw an 18 yard touchdown pass for his first career strike. His last TD with :59 seconds to play gave the Cardinal the final margin of victory.
Tate used his speed and Clausen’s strong arm to reel-in 10 catches for 201 yards including toucdowns of 5, 78 and 28 yards.
Gerhart and Tate each scored his team’s first and final touchdowns of the evening.
Gerhart came into the game as a Doak Walker finalist with an outside chance to win the Heisman Trophy, while Tate entered as a Biletnikoff finalist, but their performances Saturday have to make them the frontrunners for each of the awards.
The Doak Walker award goes to the nation’s top running back, the Biletnikoff goes to the country’s best receiver and the Heisman goes to….um? Well, the Heisman is supposed to go to the nation’s “most outstanding” player, but in recent year’s it has gone to the best player on a team in contention for a national championship. Alabama running back Mark
Ingram has been at the top of most Heisman polls in recent weeks, but he managed just 30 yards in the Tide’s 26-21 win over Auburn on Friday. Gerhart’s head coach, Jim Harbaugh, says his 235 pound back is worthy of the Heisman.
“He’s made that statement the entire year,” Harbaugh said after the game. “He was incredible to watch. He said it all by the way he’s played. He’s been about it and not talked about it. He just kept going at it week after week.”
Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck agrees “How can you not at least invite him to the ceremony,” Luck said. “He took the team on his back.”
Gerhart now leads the nation with 1,736 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. He has scored a Pac 10 record 42 touchdowns in his career. Tate is fourth nationally with his 1,496 yards. His 15 touchdown grabs are second nationally. Tate has also rushed for two TDs and returned a punt 87 yards for another score two weeks ago vs. Pittsburgh.
Gerhart has now topped the 200 yard mark three times this season. Coming into 2009 no Stanford back had surpassed 200 rushing yards in a game since 1988. Tate now has gone over 200 receiving yards twice this season. He had a career high 244 yards vs. Washington last month.
Here’s a look at how Gerhart and Tate each compare to others at their respective positions:
1. Toby Gerhart-Stanford* 1,736/26
2. Donald Buckram-UTEP 1,594/18
3. Ryan Williams-Va. Tech 1,538/19
4. Ryan Matthews-Fres. St. 1,491/14
5. Dion Lewis-Pitt. 1,446/13
6. Mark Ingram-Ala.* 1,429/12
*Denotes Doak Walker Award finalist
1. Danario Alexander-Miss. 1,644/13
2. Greg Sales-Haw. 1,559/8
3. Freddie Barnes-BGSU* 1,551/16
4. Golden Tate-ND * 1,496/15
5. Dezmon Brisco-KU 1,337/9
6. Jordan Shipley-TX* 1,292/11
*Denotes Biletnikoff Award finalist
Gerhart and Tate have been featured in the Collegebaseball360.com Two Sport Reports throughout the fall. Gerhart has played for three years on the Stanford baseball team. He could exercise a fifth year of football eligibility and he still has a final season of baseball eligibility remaining. However, he is expected to forego those options to prepare for February’s NFL combine and, ultimately, April’s NFL draft.
Tate has played for two seasons on both the Fighting Irish football and baseball teams. He still has one season of football and two seasons of baseball eligibility remaining. He could play baseball this spring and return for a final season of football next fall, or he could opt for the April’s NFL draft. The Irish baseball coaching staff says he has not indicated what his plan are.
Look for a new Two Sport Report this week as well as By The Numbers looks at the baseball/football careers of Toby Gerhart and Golden Tate this week on Collegebaseball360.com