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Friday, February 19, 2010
Humble Gerhart accepts Doak Walker award

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- Punishing Stanford running back Toby Gerhart graciously accepted the Doak Walker Award Friday night at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. The award is presented to the the nation's top running back.

Gerhart, a Heisman Trophy finalist, averaged 143.9 yards a game as a senior, rushing for 1,871 yards and 28 touchdowns. He beat out Heisman winner Mark Ingram of Alabama and Clemson's C.J. Spiller.

Friday night's festivities is the last in a long line of award banquets since December for Gerhart. He shared the Doak Walker stage with SMU legends Eric Dickerson and Craig James, who together accepted the Doak Walker Legends Award.

"It’s been a dream come true for me," Gerhart said. "It’s a testament to Stanford football, to our team this year. I’m getting all the glory, but I wish I could share with all of them."

Interrupted James playfully: "Toby’s really hard to deal with. Eric and I have been amazed. The guy is demanding --'arrogant,' chimed Dickerson --he’s got an entourage already, boy."

Gerhart said he most enjoyed meeting the Walker family.

"It's truly an honor. You know when they said,'Welcome to the family,' that meant a lot to me," Gerhart said. "Family is a huge part of my life and to be openly accepted into theirs and to hear stories about their father and how great of a man he is, I only wish when my life is over I have a legacy that he has left and that I can touch as many people as he has."

Gerhart is training for the NFL Combine with and living with Texas quarterback and Davey O'Brien Award winner Colt McCoy.

"He's got a great style for the NFL," James said of Gerhart. "The runners that come out of college that dance, it's hard in the NFL because everybody can run, everybody can dance. You've got to break arm tackles and run past people and Toby is certainly that style of runner. I think he'll have a very successful career in the NFL."