Duke In Top Five For CA RB

California running back Toby Gerhart (6-0, 216, 4.5) has become the Inland Empire's all-time career rushing leader, running his total to 7,438 total rushing yards so far for Norco High School in Norco. He captured the honor Oct. 6 in a game against Tustin when he broke the 14-year-old record held by David Dotson (Valley View in Moreno Valley) of 7,257 yards.

"This season has been going very well for me," Gerhart said. "I am staying focused on even greater things for this season."

He said he continues to favor Stanford slightly over UCLA, Mississippi, Duke, Kansas and Utah (all offered). No official visits have yet been taken. All programs have agreed to let him participate in baseball as well as football.

"The things that are most important to me are a quality education, the ability to play both baseball and football in college, the ability to play running back, and the success of both the baseball and football programs at these colleges." Gerhart reports all schools have indicated he can play running back.

"Stanford has just a little bit of an edge. I feel comfortable with them at this point. I haven't seen the school yet on an official visit, but I already feel comfortable with the coaches. The school definitely offers a prestigious academic program -- so that does make them stand out. They have been recruiting me pretty hard. I was there unofficially this summer, and they have been asking me to decide with my family when a good time would be to come up and take my official visit. So far, I haven't been able to work it into my schedule.

"UCLA is close to home, they have a good academic program, and they have a great football program as evidenced by their record this year," he said. "Coach (Karl) Dorrell is a real nice guy and a good person."

Gerhart attended the UCLA/Oklahoma game on Sept. 17 and said, "It was a great atmosphere in which to play football. The coach is a real down-to-earth, ethical, classy guy. It's going to be a tough decision.

"They have a great baseball team as well. And they have proven that they will let athletes be two-sport players, with the example of Jarrod Page (strong safety, football/outfield, baseball) playing both sports. So, I know they aren't just talk. Not that I am saying that the others are just talk, but that UCLA has proof. UCLA is one of the colleges recruiting me the hardest.

"Mississippi also is recruiting me really hard. They were really hard in pressing me to set up an official visit, so that is the only one I have set up so far (Nov. 19). It just worked out that my team has a Thursday game that week, so I am able to make that trip," Gerhart said. "I like them for the 'pageantry' of the South… they just have crazy fan support for their program. They are members of the SEC, and that carries prestige with it.

"Duke was the first to give me an official offer. I have talked a lot with their coaches, and they have become good friends. They deserve to be given a chance.

"Kansas is similar to Ole Miss in that college football is everything.

"Utah is about even with Kansas. Utah is fairly close and they have established programs (both football and baseball)."

Gerhart said further official visit dates will be set up this week.

Gerhart has 69 carries for 1,011 yards and 10 touchdowns this season for Norco (5-0). Norco hosts Centennial (Corona) on Oct. 14 in what he predicts will "probably be the biggest game of the year for us."

Baseball stats from last season: .549, 7 homeruns, 18 doubles, 25 stolen bases.

4.6 GPA/1810 SAT


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