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Gerhart Knows The Harbaughs

Stanford RB Toby Gerhart is familiar with the Harbaugh family of coaches.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Sunday, February 28th, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Categories: 2010 NFL Combine, Mike Duffy

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The Ravens might know Stanford running back Toby Gerhart better than any other team in the NFL.

That’s because Gerhart’s college coach is John Harbaugh’s brother, Jim. His position coach at the Brut Sun Bowl was the siblings’ father, Jack.

According to Gerhart, the intensity and team-first approach Ravens fans have seen in John’s first two years in Baltimore runs in the family.

“I just know stories from coach [Jim] Harbaugh and his father,” Gerhart said from the NFL Scouting Combine. “From what I’ve been told, they’re all identical. The father, I don’t know how old he is, but he’s as fiery as can be. At the bowl game, he was jumping around , screaming and yelling. The same thing has been passed down to Jim and I’m sure his brother.

“They’re exciting to play for, they’re enthusiastic and they bring out the best in their players.”

Jim certainly brought out the most in Gerhart.

The Heisman Trophy finalist set school records with 1,871 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns last season.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pound power back is powerfully-built, even though he said he has shed 10 pounds through a strict diet and workout regimen. Gripping the podium with large, nobby hands that were never covered by gloves at Stanford, Gerhart talked about his reputation.

“I think that’s what my M.O. has been in college,” Gerhart said. “Get north-south, move the chains and score touchdowns.”

What Gerhart needs to prove is his speed in order to solidify his current second- or third-round status, according to many draft analysts. Training around the clock at Velocity Sports Performance in California, Gerhart hopes to show scouts that he can run a pro-level 40-yard dash.

“I think I’m a little faster than people believe. I’m excited to run and show that,” he said. “That’s what’s great about this thing. It’s a chance to go out there and compare yourself to the best. I have a chance to go out there and run with the best of them and prove to teams I can play at their level, if not better.”

Should Gerhart not live up to his own expectations at the Combine, he could be a good value pick in the fourth or fifth round. Considering his relationship to the Harbaughs, it would be a familiar move.

“They all live, breathe and die football,” said Gerhart.

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