September 5, 2008

Extra bragging rights at stake for Gerhart

Garth Gerhart has a lot to look forward to on Saturday.

The Sun Devils' backup center will be making his collegiate debut on the gridiron, but for him, there's something bigger at stake when ASU lines up against Stanford this weekend.

Bragging rights.

Garth's older brother Toby Gerhart is a running back for the Cardinal, and the winner of this game will have the right to smack-talk the other for the next 12 months.

"For us (Garth and Toby), there's a lot riding on this game," Garth said. "(If ASU wins) that'll be awesome."

There isn't much of a sibling rivalry, Garth said. The two play different positions so they aren't in situation to compare themselves to each other.

In fact, the two have never competed against each other in any organized sport and Garth said standing on the sideline opposite his brother will be weird.

"I always blocked for him in high school," Garth said. "This year will be the first time, the first time ever I played against him in anything."

Garth is one of Toby's biggest fans, but doesn't want his brother to have a performance similar to the 147-yard, two-touchdown game he had a week ago against Oregon State.

Garth watched the entire game, the first half from ASU's training room and the second half in his apartment, and was proud of what his brother did -but he does not want to see a repeat performance against ASU.

"Our defense still needs to shut him," Garth said. "He can't have another 150-yard game. Maybe around 50 or so would be good."

Although Garth wants the ASU defense to slow Toby down, he is glad he isn't the one that will have to do it. But he did admit that he would like an opportunity to tackle his brother.

"I think it's kind of good (that he doesn't have to hit Toby) because if I hit him and he gets hurt I'll feel real bad," Garth said. "But it'd be kind of cool to actually tackle him and play against him actually on defense. But I don't play defense, I'm an offensive lineman so it's not ever going to happen."

Garth missed the past two weeks, including ASU's season opener, with an ankle injury, and it was Toby's advice that helped him get back on the field so quickly.

Toby missed nearly the entire 2007 season with a knee injury, and told Garth what to do to recover as quickly as possible.

"He just told me treatment, tons of treatment," Garth said. "So I've been in the training room, shoot, like 12 hours a day it seems like. From morning to night just getting treatment trying to get back as soon as I can."

So Garth is back nearly 100-percent and when the game begins Saturday, he will be ready.

Although Garth is No. 2 on the depth chart, he knows anything can happen and he can be thrust into the spotlight at anytime.

"I always have to step it up and hopefully just keep doing good and get playing time and work my way in there," Garth said.

Garth and Toby won't be the only Gerharts at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday.

About 25 members of the Gerhart family will be there to watch the game.

"Aunts, uncles, grandparents, my sisters, my little brother, my parents, everybody's coming," Garth said. "It's going to be awesome because some people are going to be sitting on the Stanford side with his tickets, some are going to be on the Arizona State side with my tickets so it's going to be cool."

Garth said his family doesn't care who wins, they really just want to see Garth and Toby have a good game, so they won't be dressed in either team's apparel.

Instead, his sisters made shirts that are split down the middle. One side ASU, the other side Stanford.

"They have half and half shirts," Garth said. "[The shirts] have Arizona State with my number, then they have my brother with his number on the back with his colors.

"They just want to see us both perform good."

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