Though Oklahoma lost the 2009 BCS National Championship Bowl to the Florida Gators 14-24, you can’t pin the loss on Junior Tight End Jermaine Gersham. Even against a highly rated Florida Defense, the 6-6, 261 lbs Gersham had an excellent game, providing Quarterback Sam Bradford with an imposing target all night long. By the end of the game, Gersham was the only Oklahoma Sooner to find his way to the end zone, catching touchdown passes of 6 and 11 yards in route to a game in which he had 8 receptions for 62 yards.
The game was Gersham’s third contest in a row in which had caught 8 or more passes, the biggest output of his season coming two games prior against Oklahoma State. In the wild state shootout, won by the Sooners 61-41, Gersham was once again Bradford’s favorite receiver, hauling in 9 catches for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns, one of the scores coming on a 73 yard reception in the 3rd quarter that put the Sooners up by 11 points. The completion which came on a pass that was deflected over the head of three Oklahoma State defenders, helped show off the speed of the massive Tight End, who was able to outrace the rest of the defense for 50 yards after making the catch.
By season’s end, Gersham had 66 catches, 950 yards and 14 touchdowns over 14 games, numbers that should not have come as a surprise to any one who had watched him play in 2007. As a sophomore that year, Gersham started to become one of Sam Bradford’s favorite receiver, hooking up for the quarterback’s first touchdown pass at Oklahoma, when he took in a Bradford pass for a 15 yard gain against North Texas during the opening game of the season.
Though to be fair, Jermaine Gersham, has been on NFL Scout’s radar long before his days as a Sooner, a Parade All-American in high school, Gersham was the top rated high school Tight End in the country by the end of his Senior season. The highly talented athlete was courted by such college powerhouse programs as USC, LSU, Miami, Nebraska and Ohio State before settling on Oklahoma.
If Gersham decides to pass up his Senior season at Oklahoma, look for him to be one of the top Tight Ends taken in the 2009 NFL Draft. On the plus side, Gersham’s size will make it hard for NFL defenses to match up against him. His long arms and athletic ability (Gersham also played basketball in high school) make him an excellent receiver, and he has plenty of speed for the position as well. While he can stand to improve his blocking skills, his upside as a receiver will be too tempting for most NFL teams to pass up on. Look for Gersham to go by the second round of the NFL Draft.
Latzke, Jeff, “Freshman Murray scores 5 TDs as No. 8 Oklahoma beats North Texas 79-10” www.rivals.yahoo.com
Latzke, Jeff, “No. 3 Sooners make BCS case with 61-41 Bedlam win,” www.rivals.yahoo.com