The Gerhart Gap Grows

While most of us took Thankgiving to reflect upon our good fortunes, it was the prior Thursday that had Toby Gerhart giving much thanks. Stanford has been in good shape with the record-setting running back recruit since the summer, though their lead grew roots in that race late last week when Gerhart learned an important piece of information from The Farm.

Last week, Toby Gerhart received an eye-catching text message from Stanford recruiting coordinator Nate Hackett.  The Norco (Calif.) High School senior was not sure what the message told him, with the ability to read either good or bad news from it:

Call me.  We need to talk about admissions.

Thanksgiving came one week early for Gerhart that Thursday, when he called Hackett and found the good news of his Stanford admission.

"I'm excited and a little bit relieved.  I was nervous when I saw that text, but afterward is was a sense of relief and excitement," the running back recruit explains.  "I've been admitted to Stanford, one of the most prestigious places in the world.  Before I got the [admissions] news, I wasn't sure what would happen.  I believed my grades were good enough, but it is a relief to know for sure now."

With that layer of admissions doubt peeled away, Gerhart says that he can now look at Stanford without the "ifs" or "buts" in his mind.  He has been consistently high on the Cardinal throughout his recruitment, so it comes as little surprise that with an admissions acceptance in hand he today favors The Farm.

"As of right now, Stanford is at the top of my list," he declares.  "It's the quality of education, plus the fact that they have an up-and-coming football program.  The new stadium is going to be great.  And they have great baseball.  I really like Coach [Mark] Marquess."

Gerhart has taken two official visits in November, first to Utah and later to Ole Miss.  He has his final five schools mapped out, with UCLA and Duke joining the Cardinal in the quintet of competitors.  Gerhart says he wants to take all five of his official visits, though the remaining three dates have yet to be scheduled.  For Stanford, there was a tentative plan to bring him to campus officially the weekend of January 13.  Now there is talk about moving his trip up to December 3.

"They have a couple kids who are committed coming that [December 3] weekend.  There is something like five already committed out of six who are taking their official visits that weekend.  It would give me a chance to meet and get to know some future teammates," Gerhart describes.  "But my parents want to go with me, and that may be a problem in December.  My mom has something she signed up for, which she may not be able to get out of."

With an admissions acceptance and a lead over the other suitors, Stanford has the opportunity to close on the first running back they offered in April.  The question now is when they will host him officially on The Farm to try and seal the deal, and we will check back with Gerhart soon for that answer.  Stay tuned.

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