Friday, July 27, 2012

Meet the Leading Lions: Nick Gerst

22 Days until Training Camp

50 Days until Season Opener


You can't talk about RB Nick Gerst and his Columbia career without mentioning the fact that he has personally become one of the most heated debate topics in Lion history.

Has there ever been a Columbia player more hyped on the chat boards or the comments sections of blogs than senior Nick Gerst?

Well, probably not in the Internet era.

Nick has his fans, and for a football program that needs fans that's a very good thing.

He has his detractors too, and believe it or not, that's a good thing too. Anything is better than being ignored as a program altogether. 

But well before he even came to Columbia, the Gerst fans set the bar very high for the Bergen Catholic grad to meet. 

Career Highlights


Gerst played only on the JV, but made a big impression with some big breakaway runs. (The drumbeat to get him on the field to play with the varsity began almost immediately).


-Broke onto the field with the varsity in the season opener and played in all 10 games, but it wasn't until the week 2 game against Towson that he got his first carry. And for the record, it was a 13 yard gain. Later in the game he scored his first TD on another 13-yard run to make it 21-10 Lions in the eventual 24-10 win. Finished the game with 73 yards on just 11 carries. 

-The week 3 game against Princeton remains Gerst's best game as a Lion to date. Ran for 124 yards on just 17 carries. Also had 3 receptions for 30 yards. Broke a 41-yard gainer in the 2nd quarter.

-Had a decent showing in the Homecoming game against Dartmouth with 38 yards on eight carries and a TD.

-Contributed nicely to the 20-17 win over Cornell in week 8 with 52 yards on eight carries.

-Finished the season with 350 yards rushing on 69 carries with two TD's and 13 receptions for 74 yards.


-Missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury. 

-Made his first impact in week four against Sacred Heart with four carries for 30 yards and a TD.

-Hamstring injury recurred and he missed all but 5 games of the season. Finished the year with just 143 yards rushing on 27 carries with two TD's. 

Scouting Report

-Has great speed and drive, but the previous Columbia coaching regime never thought he was durable enough to get anything like 20 carries a game. Gerst's injury troubles so far seem to justify those concerns at least somewhat. 

-Has not yet been utilized enough as a receiving weapon coming out of the backfield. 

-Seems rejuvenated after an innovative new hamstring repair surgery he underwent right after the 2011 season.

Jake's Take

Gerst has matured greatly over the years and knows this is his last chance to do live up to all the fan hype. 

I strongly suspect he is the leading candidate to play the "Wes Welker" role Head Coach Pete Mangurian is going to make a big part of the offensive attack this season. That means we'll see a lot more of Gerst as a receiver on short passing routes. He looked very good in that role in the spring game. 

And with Gerst's younger brother Mike joining the Lions as a freshman this year, I expect Nick's passion for the game to be reignited. 

Columbia needs him to step up his game, or face another season of inconsistent offensive production.


Anonymous said...

With the coaching change, great opportunity for Nick to prove his value. As a Bergen County guy, I would love to see Nick have an outstanding senior season.

Anonymous said...

How important is the running game. Well,let's say Coach M improves the running game by about 25%-- the Lions move into the first division. If he improves the running game by about 50%, Columbia will compete for the Ivy League Championship. All seven running backs on the roster have chance to play and become stars. If that doesn't happen, Coach M might even look at the defensive backfield or wide receiver group for help. Lots of possibilities, but the bottom line is that Columbia needs improve its running game to compete for the Ivy League Championship.

Anonymous said...

Columbia will probably use Marcourus Garrett and Nick and Mike Gerst to run the ball outside, hopefully to open up the ground game for the Lions. Griffin Lowry made a huge contribution to the running game towards the end of last season and is certainly the Lions' top running threat inside tackle. Alec Fisher played well his freshman season and can go inside or outside. Incoming freshman, Cameron Molina, also looks like he can run both inside and outside. Some of the freshmen wide receivers are quick enough to run the reverse. It should be interesting to see who emerges as the leading running backs.

RedTiger61 said...

Another player who looked good on the JV teqam was Silvio .... I think he could be an 'inside presence'

oldlion said...

Alec Fisher seems to be the guy who the scouting services are focused on. Good all around back who can run, block, catch and pick up the blitz. He also seems durable.

oldlion said...

Alec Fisher seems to be the guy who the scouting services are focused on. Good all around back who can run, block, catch and pick up the blitz. He also seems durable.