10/03/2011 - Center Garth Gerhart, the leader of the offensive line, suffered a severely sprained ankle against Oregon State and doesn't seem likely to be able to play Saturday at Utah. Sophomore Kody Koebensky filled in vs. the Beavers. Arizona State also will have to get T Aderious Simmons ready as a backup center. - The Sports Xchange
Gerhart was a three-star offensive line recruit out of high school, choosing Arizona State over Colorado, Boise State and Hawai'i. After redshirting in 2007, he saw action as a true freshman in six games in 2008, starting the final three at center. Gerhart started seven games in 2009 as a sophomore at both center and guard before earning the starting center job in 2010 as a junior where he started all 12 games. He was named to the Rimington and Outland Award Watch Lists prior to the 2011 season and started all 13 games at center as a senior, earning Second Team All-Pac 12 honors.
Gerhart, who is the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart, is a tough, smart football player who scraps in the trenches and gets the most out of his ability. He has a questionable anchor to hold up against bull rushers and doesn't possess the strength to overwhelm pro defenders. There is a lot of about his motor and overall effort, but Gerhart will struggle to crack the starting line-up at the next level and projects as a center-only back-up for a zone-blocking scheme -- borderline draftable because of his physical limitations, but will get a shot because of his overachieving attitude and pedigree.
Strengths: Possesses a filled-out frame with good thickness and strength. Has quick feet with good initial burst pulling and blocking in space. Technically sound with very good awareness and football IQ -- plays smart and understands angles and body positioning. Aggressive and plays with a top motor -- very hard worker and effort player, getting the most out of his ability. Feisty and tough, playing through multiple injuries and refusing to leave the field -- tough as nails. Very good starting experience with 35 career starts (30 at center, 5 at right guard) with attractive pro leadership traits.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal size and strength for the position with limited growth potential -- short and squatty. Has limited arm strength and struggles to sustain blocks very long. Has a light anchor and plays with limited power. Plays stiff and struggles to block cleanly unless he can square himself to the defender. A short-area player with limited range and won't test very well athletically. Probably limited to center and won't be a fit for every team.
NFL Comparison: Tim Barnes, NFL free agent
-- Dane Brugler