Introducing the 2007 Class: Garth Gerhart

An old football cliché states that game film doesn't lie. Yet many schools passed on talented center Garth Gerhart, due to a perceived lack of size. The 6-2 300 Norco (Calif.) standout was ranked as the No. 7 center in the country by, and the skills that helped him achieve that honor didn't go unnoticed by the Sun Devil staff, who lured him to Tempe after his commitment to Colorado.

"Some coaches just go by how you play on film and for some coaches it's just about the numbers," said Garth Gerhart. "A lot of coaches just like their centers to be taller. Even though I was quicker and faster than a lot of other centers, I didn't get that much attention from the bigger schools. I believe that a good center has to be fast and it's OK if they're a little smaller because you have a lower center of gravity and good leverage."

As a recruit it sometimes takes just one offer from a major school to earn a player's pledge, and so was the case with Gerhart last summer. "I committed to Colorado because I just liked everything there and I felt comfortable," he recalled. "As the recruiting process went on, I didn't feel comfortable with the Colorado O-Line coach and I had a feeling that he was leaving. He would say things like ‘make sure you commit somewhere because you like the head coach, not your position coach. The head coach always stays there.' Sure enough after signing day he left for Boise State."

Ironically, Gerhart was on ASU's radar recruiting screen before he verbaled to the Buffaloes. The center was a visitor at last year's spring practice, and had a general favorable impression of the maroon and gold. "I remember liking the facilities there, he commented. "It was pretty cool. I was interested in them, but I never heard back from them after I visited there."

Shortly after Dennis Erickson was hired as ASU's new head coach, he and offensive line coach Gregg Smith contacted Garth's father Todd, who is also the head coach at Norco High School, before the winter break. The center said that he was happy with the interest that ASU was showing under Erickson. "That was the first Pac-10 school that actually was recruiting me hard, and it was a school that was close to home," explained Gerhart. "My brother plays at Stanford, so I thought it would be cool to play against my brother." He added that he wasn't determined to de-commit from Colorado when ASU made contact and that he was still going "back and forth" deciding whether to sign with ASU or not.

His official visit to Tempe after winter break was naturally a successful one. "I loved the campus, the offensive linemen were real nice, all the facilities were great and the coaches were laid back and very nice," said Gerhart. "Coach Smith reminds me a lot of my high school O-Line coach, yelling at you and stuff like that. I like that coaching style."

And how does Gerhart feel about the Dennis Erickson offense from an offensive lineman perspective?

"I like it a lot, because last year we started to pull the centers on some plays and when I watched film his offense had some plays like that as well," he replied. "His offenses run the ball a lot and that's strength of mine. I know I have to get better at pass blocking, because my school didn't pass the ball that much. We ran the ball like 95% of the time. I do feel comfortable in the shot gun, and coach told me that pass blocking is easier to teach than run blocking."

Prep teammate and 2006 Co-Most Valuable Player (Gerhart being the other half of this award) of the C.I.F. Eastern division, Adam Tello, isn't only a former offensive line mate of Gerhart but also a close friend who will also don the maroon and gold this fall. All throughout the recruiting process Gerhart maintained that he and Tello (who committed to Colorado as well) weren't a package deal. "We always said that we would each do what's best for us," said Gerhart. "Because we have a lot of the same interests that's why we both committed to Colorado, and then decided to go to ASU. It's real cool to have a good friend on the college team which is gonna be my roommate and will make the transition easier."

Redshirting is a likely scenario of incoming freshmen who are also offensive linemen. "It doesn't matter to me," claimed Gerhart. "I know I'm gonna come in and work hard. Hopefully I can be the backup center and at least make the traveling squad. If that doesn't happen, then I'll just redshirt and get better for next year."

Gerhart is an incredibly powerful player who bench presses 335 pounds, squats 585 and power cleans 315. Nonetheless, he admits that the lack of recruiting attention does weigh as a heavy chip on his shoulder, and is one he would like to shake off with his play. "It would be nice to show to all the coaches that size doesn't always matter. So yeah, not being recruited by Pac-10 teams will definitely give me some motivation when I play them."

Recruit Profile

Name Garth Gerhart

High SchoolNorco (Calif.)

Position Center



Date of Birth10/21/88

Birthplace Corona, Calif.

Nickname "Didn't have one"

Favorite TV Show"24"

Favorite Movie"300"

Favorite Singer"Garth Brooks and Metalica"

Favorite Food"Mexican"

Favorite Drink"Cherry Pepsi"

Favorite Athlete"Samuelson – he's participates in the world's strongest man competition."

Favorite Pro Team"San Francisco 49ers"

Person you most admire"My parents. They've done so much for me and have been great role models."

First Football Memory"First game my freshman year. It was my first football game ever."

One Thing most people don't know about me"I'm shy in the beginning, but once I get to know you I'm pretty funny."

Why did you choose ASU? "The coaches"

Where do you want to be in ten years? "That's what school is for. If you don't make it to the NFL, you still have a degree. I would like to major in business and just own businesses. I'd like to be starting family then too."

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