Gerhart, Singletary return to Bay Area

August 8, 2012, 10:43 pm
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Toby Gerharts fame still looms large in the Bay Area fromhis gridiron days with the Stanford Cardinal.The six-foot, 234-pound running back will return for thefirst time since a preseason game in his rookie season two years ago when theMinnesota Vikings come to Candlestick Park on Friday for a preseason matchupwith the 49ers.Gerharts success at Stanford was legendary, nearlyculminating in a Heisman Trophy his senior year. Gerhart rushed for 1871 yards with28 touchdowns in 2009, both school records. He also won the Pac-10 OffensivePlayer of the Year Award and the Doak Walker Award. Gerharts 3,522 careerrushing yards at Stanford are the second most in school history, and his 44 rushingtouchdowns top the school list.After being selected in the second round of the NFL Draft bythe Vikings, Gerhart has worked to produce while backing up four-time ProBowler Adrian Peterson. Gerhart rushed for 531 yards last season with a 4.9yards-per-carry average. He also caught three touchdown passes.Gerhart has a short chance to make a name for himself at theprofessional level this season while Peterson recovers from a torn ACL sufferedin a Dec. 24 game against the Washington Redskins. Peterson will miss the preseason,though he could be back in time for the Vikings regular-season opener on Sept.9.Gerhart isnt the only Bay Area name returning for Fridays49ers game. Ex-49ers head coach Mike Singletary will face his former team forthe first time as linebackers coach and assistant head coach for the Vikings.Singletary joined the Vikings coaching staff in January 2011 after the 49ersfired him following a Week 16 loss to the St. Louis Rams in 2010.Colin Becht is an intern with and a senior at Northwestern University.