Rebels looking out West

Toby Gerhart (RB, Norco, CA) - One of California's top returning rushers (over 2,200 rushing yards last season) has been opening up some eyes this summer. No, not the "football" eyes of the world. Gerhart has decided to concentrate on baseball this summer, and it is paying off, as he recorded the fastest 60 time (6.36 seconds) at the prestigious Perfect Games that was held in Atlanta last week.

It is this type of speed that has turned the football recruiters' head, as Toby already holds scholarship offers from Stanford, UCLA, Ole Miss, Duke, Utah, Colorado, Colorado State, Utah State, UTEP, Kansas, BYU, Oregon Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, and Wyoming.

Toby's top five consist of UCLA, Stanford, Ole Miss, Duke, and Utah.

The following information was revealed during our interview with Toby Gerhart

What have you been doing this summer? "I have been in Atlanta for the Perfect Games. I also played in Marietta, GA in the World Wooded Bat Championship Series. I am playing in the Area Games from August 4 - 10 in Long Beach (CA). The players are selected from the MLB scouts. It is pretty much the premier showcase event in the country."

Which position do you play in baseball? "I play in the outfield."

What were your stats as a junior? "I hit over .550 with 7 HR's and 16 doubles."

Any awards? "I made All-League, All-CIS, and All-State."

Will you sign a football or baseball scholarship when it comes decision time? "I will sign a football scholarship. That way I can play both sports. You can not play football for two years if you sign a baseball scholarship."

What is your first love; football or baseball? "I mean, I pretty much love whatever season I am in. Football is more exciting because you are playing in front of 15,000 fans instead of 500. And you get to hit too (laugh). I love the physical part of football."

What are your strengths at running back? "I have speed, strength, and vision."

What are your strength numbers? "I bench 315 and squat 495."

What do you most need to work on at running back? "My open field running, shake and bake kind of moves. You can not really work on that stuff.. It is just instinct, but I am working on my cutting by doing cone drills and stuff like that."

What do you run the 40 yard dash in? "A 4.4."

What type of awards did you receive in football last season? "The same as baseball. All-League, All-CIS, and All-State."

Who are the schools that are recruiting you the hardest in football? "Stanford, UCLA, Utah, Mississippi, and Duke."

All offers? "Yes sir, everybody in the PAC 10 has offered me except USC and California. I have also been offered by Colorado, Colorado State, Wyoming, BYU, Utah State, UNLV, UTEP, and Kansas."

Which colleges are recruiting you to play both sports? "Where ever I go, it is going to be a package deal. I am looking to play both. Duke UCLA, Utah, Ole Miss, and Stanford all said I could play both sports."

Which baseball programs have personally contacted you? "I have been contacted by Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, and Ole Miss has sent me a bunch of letters, but they have not personally called me yet. That is about it."

Have you been to any football camps this summer? "No sir, I decided to concentrate on baseball this summer. I have always given my summers to football, so I decided to give my time to baseball this last time."

Which colleges are now at the top of your list? "UCLA, Stanford, Ole Miss, Duke, and Utah."

Have you been on any unofficial visits to the schools you are interested in? "I have been to UCLA and Stanford because they are right here in California. In the next couple of weeks, me and my dad are going to the S' East to see Ole Miss. Then we are going to Duke, and then we are headed up to the Mid West in Utah and some other schools."

What do you know about Ole Miss? "They are in the SEC, which is a big time conference. I have heard their fans have a lot of passion for football, and they get great fan support. I have heard and read about the Grove, and I know they have been successful in both football and baseball. Their baseball team was a hit away from the World Series. That excites me. But everybody down there loves football and collegiate sports in general."

What attracts you to UCLA? "The ability to play both sports, for one. Their baseball coach has shown me his desire for me to play for him. They have a good football program, and they get a lot of fan support. They could be an and coming team."

What about Stanford? "They have one of the best academic institutions in the country. They have a consistent baseball program, and they got a new football coach, in Coach Walt Harris. He is looking to turn their program around."

And Utah? "I can play both sports there too. They have had a real successful football program the past couple of seasons. I do not know a whole lot about them, but I should learn more when I go on my visit."

What are Duke's positives? "They are another high class academic institution. I have developed a pretty good relationship with Coach Kelly, who recruits this area. They are getting a new baseball coach. And Coach Kelly said they are going to be an up and coming football program. They were also my very first scholarship offer, so I would like to check them out."

When did Duke offer you? "On September 1st of my junior year. The very first day colleges can offer you."

Have you developed a tight bond with anymore football coaches? "I have developed a good relationship with Coach Neilson at Ole Miss, Coaches Moses and Marquest (head baseball coach) at Stanford, and UCLA's head baseball coach, Coach Sabage. Coach Shroeder at UCLA (football assistant) and I have a pretty good relationship too."

Will distance be a factor when it comes decision time? "Not at all. I do not mind leaving the state of California."

Are you leaning in any one direction right now? "Right now, I am wide open. Not at all."

What will you be looking at while you are taking your visits? "My ability to play both sports will be very important for me. I want their coaches to let me do it and not just say it. I also want a chance to play tailback, and not get flipped to the other side of the ball at linebacker. I do not want to play fullback either. And their academics will be very important as well."

What is your current academic status? "I am ranked first in our class. I have a 4.67 GPA and a 1810 on the SAT.

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