Hard to believe, but there are under 80 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer I embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. So far this year, we're batting a thousand, so drop me notes of encouragement now and again so I can find the strength to get through the next couple months without breaking the streak.
We've got 77 days until kickoff ... so today we'll be taking a look at number 77 on the Bronco roster—Spencer Gerke
#77, Spencer Gerke, RS Freshman, OG
Weight: 290 lbs.
High School: Bishop Kelly High School, Boise, ID
How'd he get to The Blue?
Before Capital High became the Broncos hot new local recruiting bed, Bishop Kelly was the main provider of scholarship players and walk-ons for the Broncos. Surprisingly, Gerke is the last BK star that the Broncos have gone after since 2008 (until LB Cody McCarthy this year). At Bishop Kelly, Gerke was a stud on both sides of the ball, named all-state as an offensive lineman and defensive lineman his senior year. He was also named All-SIC from both sides of the line-of-scrimmage as well. Gerke's only offer came from the Broncos and he signed with the class of 2008 and is now finished grayshirting and redshirting.
Yous about to get mauled, son!
Ranked as the 63rd best player on 2008's Northwest 100. First team all-state on offense and defense as a senior at Bishop Kelly (made 69 tackles, seven pass breakups, two sacks and an interception on defense). Named team captain his senior year.
Put heart and soul into protecting Cody Hawkins' blindside.
Some student-athletes use their grayshirt year to get ahead on core classes, soak up the playbook, or get accustomed to college life—Spencer Gerke used his to shut down the China Grand Buffet. When Gerke first signed-on to play for the Broncos, he looked more like fellow BK grad Colt Brooks...but now he's filled out his frame to more closely resemble fellow BK grad Tad Miller. And I like it. This Fall, it looks like the 6'3" 290 lb. Gerke will mainly have to contend with another stout-hearted, stout-bodied man in Will Lawrence for the glut of playing time at right guard. While Lawrence has more years in the Bronco program than Gerke, a lot of them were spent at DT, so the two are close to an even keel on the scales and on the turf. That said, Lawrence is probably a little ahead of Gerke after Spring Camp, but the O-line depth chart is much more prone to shakeups than some of the so-called "skill positions" and Fall Camp could see changes galore. Gerke is a big strong kid, and I think we'll see him get plenty of playing time in 2010...making a strong push to be a full-time starter by 2011. Cory Yriarte's injury will probably make this a two-man race this Fall, unless Joe Kellogg (one start at RG in 2009) drops his bid to play center. Hopefully, two of the thickest guys on the team will grow into a position that is one of the thinnest.
Completely made up fact
Spencer's last name is German for "Harvester of Gherkins". So obviously, he has a rich pickling heritage.