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Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Gerhart may get guerrilla Heisman campaign

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


A little bird called Monday and told the Pac-10 blog that a handful of influential Stanford donors think that Cardinal running back Toby Gerhart should be rising on the Heisman Trophy charts.
 
  Phil Carter/US Presswire
  Toby Gerhart has 650 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

Moreover, they're apparently willing to put some resources into a privately organized and funded campaign -- obviously, as long as the program and athletic department are on board.

One idea the group apparently is keen on: A New York City billboard, not unlike former Oregon QB Joey Harrington's deal in 2001.

OK. It wasn't a bird that called. Cardinal is a color for one. And it was a fairly big Cardinal -- former team captain and center Alex Fletcher.

Fletcher missed out an NFL career because of a kidney condition, but Stanford graduates tend to land on their feet. He works for Bank of America-Merrill Lynch in Manhattan.

These are not great financial times at Stanford, so it's unlikely the athletic department would use a lot of funds to support a dark-horse Heisman campaign, which could go off the tracks if the 4-1 Cardinal lose a couple of games.

Gerhart ranks fourth in the nation in rushing with 130 yards per game and has scored eight touchdowns. That he also plays baseball and is a major league prospect adds depth to his story.

And he's jumped into seventh place on the ESPN.com's Heisman Watch.

The big hurdle is the late schedule. Stanford's final four games are Oregon, at USC, California and Notre Dame.

But just imagine if Gerhart rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns in a season-ending victory over the Fighting Irish, which boosts the Cardinal to 9-3 on the season, and Gerhart finishes with 1,800 yards and 24 touchdowns.

That might be enough to get him an invitation to New York to at least see his own billboard.