Official Toby Gerhart NFL bio

The official NFL bio of Vikings second-round draft pick Toby Gerhart.

Stanford University Cardinal
Norco, California
Norco High School


Over the past few years, Toby Gerhart has used his no-nonsense running style to "power" his way to Stanford and Pac-10 Conference rushing records. A bruising runner, Gerhart made Pac-10 defensive coordinators well aware of his ability to wear down teams as a workhorse tailback this season. His punishing running style has drawn comparisons to Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants. Using his combination of outstanding leg drive, power and balance, he became one of the most feared backs in the collegiate ranks as a senior.

Gerhart's efforts in 2009 made him Stanford's first recipient of Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back, as well as the runner-up for the Heisman trophy, finishing just 28 points behind Alabama's Mark Ingram in the closest race in the 75-year history of the award. No runner in college football amassed as much yardage on the ground (1,871) nor found the end zone (28) as many times as the Cardinal did.

Evidence of his impressive strength was the fact that on 315 non-touchdown rushing attempts in 2009, it took more than one defender to stop him on 144 of those carries (45.71%). He had more carries inside the red zone (99) and more attempts on goal-line snaps (43) than any other player at the major college level.

Gerhart acted as a battering ram near the end zone, scoring 20 of his 28 touchdowns in 2009 on goal-line carries. He was stopped behind the line of scrimmage or for no gain ten times all season on 43 goal line snaps (23.3%). As far as big play ability, he had crucial runs that led to 44 touchdown drives and seven field goals. Stanford had a total 53 touchdown drives during Gerhart's march to the end zone.

His impact on the Stanford rushing attack has been apparent. In his first season as a full-time starter, Gerhart boosted a Cardinal rushing offense that ranked 102nd nationally in 2007 (111.17 yards per game), to 19th nationally in 2008 (199.58 yards per game), a season in which he ran for more yards than any tailback in Stanford history (1,136).

The rushing offense again saw an increase in production in 2009, with the Cardinal finishing 11th nationally (218.23 yards per game). The rest of the offense has benefited from Gerhart's talents as well, as Stanford rose from 107th nationally in total offense in 2007 (322.50 yards per game), to 67th in 2008 (351.75 yards per game), and finally shooting all the way up to 19th in 2009 (427.62 yards per game).

Gerhart's success has come vs. some of the nation's toughest defenses to run on. In five games in 2009 vs. teams who finished the season ranking in the top 30 nationally in rushing defense (Oregon State-25th, Arizona-29th, Arizona State-19th, California-23rd, Oklahoma-8th), Gerhart averaged 123 yards (615 total) and 2.2 touchdowns per game, with a yards per carry average of 4.8.

When it comes to finding the end zone, no Stanford tailback has done it more times than Toby. Finishing his career with 44 rushing touchdowns, Gerhart shattered the previous school record held by Tommy Vardell (37, 1088-91). His 28 touchdowns in 2009 set new single-season records in both Stanford history and Pac-10 Conference annals, surpassing the previous marks set by LenDale White of Southern California (24, 2005) and Corey Dillon of Washington (24, 1996). During his prep days, Gerhart was a two-sport standout at Norco High School. His talents shined on both the football field and the baseball field. On the gridiron, he shattered the California High School career rushing record by more than 1,000 yards, finishing his career with 9,662 rushing yards which also ranked as the third-best career mark in the nation.

As a senior, Gerhart led his team to the 2005 Division V Southern Section title while running for 3,233 yards and 39 touchdowns. He was named the state winner of Gatorade's High School Player of the Year award, while also earning first-team All-State and All-CIF Southern Section honors, CIF Southern Section Player of the Year, CIF Division V Player of the Year, L.A. Times Player of the Year and the Mountain View Conference Player and Athlete of the Year.

The tailback earned All-American honors from Prep Star, Super Prep, EA Sports, and Parade Magazine. He was named Mr. Football in 2005 and the state's Player of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports. He was given a three-star rating by both and listed him as the nation's 40th-best running back prospect, while projected him as a fullback, ranking him the seventh-best prospect at that position and the 44th-best prospect in the state of California.

On the baseball field, Gerhart led his squad to three consecutive league titles from 2004-06, while earning All-Mountain View League four times (2003-06) and All-Riverside County on three occasions (2004-06). He was selected to the California All-State and All-CIF Southern Section teams as a junior and senior. Baseball America ranked him No. 50 among the 2006 Top 50 high school prospects.

Gerhart has football in his bloodlines. His father Todd was an all-conference running back at Cal State Fullerton (1981-84) before playing professional football for the Denver Gold of the USFL (1985-86) and appearing in camp with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings (1986) and Houston Oilers (1987). His brother Garth currently plays on the offensive line at Arizona State.

Gerhart arrived on the Stanford campus as a 6:01, 229-pound tailback and started contributing immediately. As a freshman in 2006, he played a key reserve role behind starting running back Anthony Kimble. He made his first career start vs. UCLA, a contest in which he rushed twelve times for 32 yards. He saw time in all twelve games, gaining 375 yards on 106 carries (3.5 ypc), while also catching fifteen balls for 124 yards.

Gerhart's sophomore season would prove to be the toughest challenge of his career. Still listed as the back-up to Anthony Kimble, he came off the bench in the second game of the season vs. San Jose State to rush for 140 yards and a touchdown on just twelve carries in less than three quarters before suffering a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

He was first expected to miss only a couple of weeks but then injured the knee more severely in practice and was shut down for the rest of the season.

Gerhart returned from the injury in 2008 to earn a job as the team's starting tailback. In twelve games, he amassed 1,136 yards and 15 touchdowns on 210 carries (5.4 ypc), establishing a new school season-record, breaking the old mark of 1,084 yards set by Tommy Vardell (1991). His touchdown total was also good for second on the school's single-season record list behind only Tommy Vardell (20, 1991).

Gerhart reached the 100-yard mark in eight games that season, also tying a school record. He was named the Pac-10 Conference's Player of the Week after rushing for 116 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 25 seconds remaining vs. Arizona. His efforts in 2008 earned him second-team All-Pac-10 honors.

Gerhart entered his senior season at Stanford with lofty expectations after being named to the Watch Lists for the Doak Walker (top running back) and Maxwell Awards (outstanding collegiate player). He was elected as a captain by his teammates, and filled the role well. Considering his running style it was only fitting that he not only broke records his senior season, but completely shatter them.

Stanford rode the legs of Toby Gerhart to its first bowl appearance in eight years. The Cardinal earned a berth in the Sun Bowl vs. the Oklahoma Sooners. In that contest, Gerhart bulldozed through the Sooners frontline on his way to 135 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries (4.2 ypc) vs. the nation's eighth-ranked rushing defense.

Gerhart was named the 2009 Doak Walker Award winner (nation's top running back), edging out C.J. Spiller of Clemson and Mark Ingram of Alabama. He was named a finalist for the Heisman Memorial Trophy, finishing second to Mark Ingram in the closest race in the history of the award. The Stanford runner added first-team All-American honors from the American Football Coaches' Association and the Associated Press, first-team All-Pac-10 honors, and was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year.

The big back surpassed his previous school record of 1,136 yards by rushing for a FBS-high 1,871 yards on 343 carries (5.5 ypc). He ran for 28 touchdowns, also tops in the major college ranks, setting new school and conference records while passing the previous highs set by LenDale White of USC (24, 2005) and Corey Dillon of Washington (24, 1996).

He finished his career rushing for 3,522 yards, good for second in Stanford history behind Darrin Nelson (4,033 yards, 1977-78, 80-81), and 12th in Pac-10 Conference annals. His career touchdown total of 44 also set a new school record, beating the previous mark of 37 set by Tommy Vardell (1988-91).


Started 26-of-38 career games at Stanford, carrying 671 times for 3,522 yards (5.25 ypc) and 44 touchdowns, adding 395 yards on 39 receptions (10.13 avg), and 3,917 all-purpose yards while scoring 268 points…Also completed 1-of-1 passing for 18 yards and one touchdown...His 671 career rushing attempts rank third in school history…Joined Darrin Nelson (4,033 yards, 1977-78, 80-81) as the only players in school history to rush for over 3,000 yards in a career, as his 3,522 yards rank 12th on the Pac-10 all-time record list…His 44 touchdown runs broke the previous school career-record of 37 set by Tommy Vardell (1988-91) and also topped the school's overall touchdown record (rushing/receiving) of 40 by Darrin Nelson (1977-81)…Ran for over 100 yards twenty times, breaking Darrin Nelson's old school mark of sixteen…Ranks sixth in Stanford history with 3,917 all-purpose yards… Gerhart's 268 points scored is the second-best career total at Stanford, topped by only place-kicker Eric Abrams (282 points, 1992-95)…His 1,871 yards rushing in 2009 were best in the FBS, set a new school record, and rank seventh in Pac-10 single-season history… His 28 touchdowns rushing in 2009 were also tops in the FBS, and set a new Pac-10 Conference record, breaking the old mark of 24 set by LenDale White of USC (2005) and Corey Dillon of Washington (1996)…His 2,028 all-purpose yards as a senior is the third-best season total by a Cardinal player behind Darrin Nelson (2,222 in 1990 and 2,121 in 1992)…Rushed for 100 yards or more in eleven games in 2009, setting a new school record and ranking second in conference annals behind J.J. Arrington of Cal (12, 2004)…Scored 172 points in 2009, the seventh-best season total in major college annals…His 172 points scored in 2009 shattered the previous school season-record of 120 by Tommy Vardell in 1991…Rushed for 100 yards or more in seven straight games in 2009, setting a new school record…Set a new school record by rushing for 223 yards vs. Oregon (11/7/09), topping the previous mark of 220 set by Jon Volpe vs. Washington (1988)…His four touchdown runs vs. Washington in 2009 and Washington State in 2008 tied a single-game school record…His 1,136 yards rushing in 2008 rank second to his own school record…His 15 touchdowns rushing in 2008 rank third in school history, and tie for 21st in conference history…Rushed for 100 yards or more eight times in 2008, tying for second-most in school history for a single-season.


All-American first-team selection by the American Football Coaches' Association, The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and the Associated Press…Named the Pacific-10 Conference's Offensive Player of the Year and was a first-team All-Conference pick…Winner of the Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back) and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, finishing second behind Mark Ingram of Alabama…Winner of Stanford's Irving S. Zeimer Memorial Award given to the team MVP, as well as the Stanford Football Man of the Year Award given annually to a member of the football program "contributing to the overall greatness of Stanford Football"…Recipient of the Archie Griffin Award and Jim Brown Trophy, both given to the nation's top running back…Named the 2009 Elite National Performer at the College Football Performance Awards…Also earned first-team accolades on the Pacific-10 Conference's All-Academic team with a GPA of 3.25…Carried the ball 343 times for 1,871 yards (5.45 ypc) and 28 touchdowns…Added eleven receptions for 157 yards (14.3 avg)… Also completed 1-of-1 pass attempts for eighteen yards and a touchdown…Produced 112 first down runs on 343 attempts (32.7%), as he converted 28-of-45 third-down rushing attempts (62.2%)…Had 53 carries for at least 10 yards, including 12 for 20 yards or more…Tackled for a loss 22 times and was stopped for no gain on 27 other carries…Had key rushes that set up 44 touchdown drives, and seven that ended with field goals…His 343 attempts were the most in the FBS and set a new school record, breaking the previous mark of 243 by Brad Muster (1986)…His 1,871 yards rushing where also an FBS-best, broke his own school record set in 2008 (1,136), and rank seventh in Pac-10 Conference history…Averaged 143.92 yards per game, ranking second in the FBS behind Ryan Mathews of Fresno State (150.67)…His 28 rushing touchdowns were tops in the FBS and established a new Pac-10 conference record, surpassing the old mark of 24 set by LenDale White of USC (2005) and Corey Dillon of Washington (1996)…Gained 100 yards rushing or more in eleven games, including seven straight, setting new school records…Ranked first nationally in scoring with 172 points (13.23 points per game)…Ranked tenth in the conference in total offensive yards per game with 145.3…Set a school record by rushing for 223 yards vs. Oregon (11/7/09), breaking the previous mark of 220 set by Jon Volpe vs. Washington in 1988…Earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors three times for performances vs. Oregon, USC, and Notre Dame.


Earned second-team All-Pac-10 Conference honors after establishing a single-season Stanford record by rushing for 1,136 yards in 12 games, breaking the previous mark of 1,084 set by Tommy Vardell in 1991...Also garnered Academic All-Pac 10 second-team accolades…Became the fifth Stanford running back to reach the 1,000-yard plateau, joining Darrin Nelson (1977, '78 and '81), Brad Muster ('86), Jon Volpe ('89) and Vardell... Averaged 5.4 yards on 210 rushing attempts, finishing third among all Pac-10 rushers behind Cal's Jahvid Best (131.7) and Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers (113.9) with a 94.7 yards per game...Powered a Stanford running game that ranked second in the Pac-10 and 19th nationally with a 199.6 per game average...The team's rushing total of 2,395 yards was the second-best single-season mark in school history...Produced fifteen rushing touch-downs on the season, good for third place on Stanford's season record list...Recorded a Pac-10-best eight 100-yard rushing games during the season, which tied Vardell for the most 100-yard games in a season...Went over the 100-yard mark in four straight games at Notre Dame (104), vs. Arizona (116), at UCLA (138) and vs. Washington State (132) to become just the third Stanford back since 1968 to do so, joining Darrin Nelson in 1980 and Tommy Vardell in 1991 (twice).


Gerhart came off the bench to rush for 140 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the third quarter vs. San Jose State...That performance ranked as Stanford's best rushing effort of the season.


Played in all twelve games and made one start vs. UCLA...Finished as Stanford's second-leading rusher with 375 yards on 106 carries (3.54 ypc)...Had 261 yards on 62 carries over his first six games before slowing to 113 yards on 44 carries over his final six contests... Also made fifteen catches for 124 yards (8.27 ypc).


Started 52-of-86 games in two seasons at Stanford…Started 23-of-30 games in the 2007 season with a .289 batting average (33-for-114), two home runs, 12 RBI and three stolen bases...Added 23 runs scored and four doubles...Handled all 36 of his defensive chances successfully for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage...Suffered a fractured right forearm in a game at Texas (2/17/07) and missed more than seven weeks before returning in a game vs. Nevada (4/10/07)…Started 29-of-56 games in 2008…Hit .240 (29-for-121) with eight doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 21 RBI...Had a .400 on-base percentage…Was one of five Pac-10 players to log a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, handling all 69 total chances without an error...Started 20 games in left field, six in right field and three as the team's designated hitter…Has a career .264 average (62-for-235) with 12 doubles, nine home runs and 33 RBI in 86 games (52 starts)...Is a perfect 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts.


4.56 in the 40-yard dash…1.55 10-yard dash…2.63 20-yard dash…4.27 20-yard shuttle…6.94 three-cone drill…38-inch vertical jump…9'10" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times…32-inch arm length…9 5/8-inch hands.


Attended Norco High School (Cal.), where he played football for head coach Todd Gerhart (his father)…Finished his high school career with 9,662 yards, setting the career record in California, and ranking as the third best career mark in the nation...Earned All-American honors from Prep Star, Super Prep, EA Sports, and Parade Magazine…Added first-team All-State, All-CIF Southern Section, CIF Southern Section Player of the Year, CIF Division V Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times Player of the Year and conference player and Athlete of the Year honors as a senior…Named Gatorade's High School Player of the Year for the state of California…Named Mr. Football 2005 and the state's player of the year by Cal-Hi Sports…Rushed for 3,233 yards and scored 39 touchdowns as a senior while leading Norco to the Division V Southern Section championship…Given a three-star rating by while being ranked the 40th-best running back prospect…Earned a three- rating by and ranked the seventh-best fullback prospect, and the 44th-best overall prospect in the state of California…Ranked as the 26th-best running back in the country and the 27th-best recruit in California by…Class valedictorian and was number one academically in a senior class of nearly 700 students…Cited academics and prestige as he reasons for choosing Stanford over offers from several other schools including Duke, Mississippi, UCLA, and Utah…Was also a standout baseball player at Norco under head coaches Bob Torres and Gary Parcell…Led his squad to three-straight league titles from 2004-06…Selected All-Mountain View League four times (2003-06) and All-Riverside County on three occasions (2004-06)...Named to the California All-State and All-CIF Southern Section teams as both a junior and a senior…Set numerous career records at Norco, including runs scored (112), hits (125), homers (18), stolen bases (39), batting average (.440) and on-base percentage (.550)...Chosen as team MVP his senior year as he hit .500 with eight homers, 14 stolen bases and a school-record .645 on-base percentage…Established a school record with a .549 batting average during his junior campaign, with seven home runs, 15 stolen bases and a .640 on-base percentage...Was ranked as the 50th best prospect among the 2006 Top 50 high school prospects by Baseball America…Also played three seasons of basketball, lettering twice.


Management Science and Engineering major…Earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic accolades as a senior…Gerhart was offered a lucrative contract to play baseball after the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft in June, but opted to play football during the 2009 college football season…Son of Lori and Todd Gerhart…Brother, Garth, is an offensive guard at Arizona State…Father, Todd, was an All-Conference running back at Cal State Fullerton (1981-84) before playing professional football for the Denver Gold of the United States Football League (USFL) from 1985-86 and appearing in camp with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings (1986) and Houston Oilers (1987)...Born 3/28/87…Resides in Norco, California.

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