Back to blogging, interviewing Heisman finalists

Sorry I haven’t been posting lately – between holidays and basketball tournaments, haven’t had much opportunity to blog. But I’m back and I’m bad after having gone to the Media Day for the I.E. All-Star Football classic at Corona High School.

The affair was what you’d expect at one of these things – lots of high school football players meeting each other and trying to figure out what their all-star coaches are talking about, lots of proud parents, a few Los Osos cheerleaders and some general scrambling. The highlight of the scrambling was REV coach Kurt Bruich calling a bunch of parents from the stands down to the field to impersonate the opposing offense in a defensive formation drill.

But the highlight for the players was a visit from Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. Gerhart, who finished second to Alabama’s Mark Ingram in the Heisman Trophy voting two weeks ago, visited the practice to observe and talk to the San Bernardino and Riverside County all-stars. Gerhart isn’t far removed from playing in the game himself, having represented Riverside County in 2006 while at Norco High School.

“Everyone seems a lot bigger than what I remember,” Gerhart joked. “There are some big kids out there, bigger than when I played in this game.”

Gerhart also had a bit of nostalgia from his experienced and touched briefly on the frenzy that has surrounded him – Matt Calkins, Eric-Paul Johnson and myself were on him interviewing him before he had a chance to get his bearings – thanks to his football celebrity.

“Last year when I would come back to LA Fitness to work out it was already crazy, and that’s before I played this year,” Gerhart said. “I’ve only been in town two days in the last six months, so I’m not sure what to expect. I’m kind of a shy guy.”

Gerhart went through a question and answer session with the all-stars of both teams, answering questions about the college experience, his choice between football and baseball (he’s choosing football and preparing for the NFL Draft in April), and about some of the people he’s met on the postseason award banquet. Gerhart answered them all, admitting that he has Ingram, Texas QB Colt McCoy and Florida QB Tim Tebow in his cell phone now.

“Mark and Colt are down in Newport Beach preparing for the bowl, so I might go out with them tonight,” Gerhart said. “Maybe hit a club or something.”